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Convicted child molester loses appeal

Jimmy Duran Lopez.


Jimmy Duran Lopez, convicted of child molestation in Hays County last year, lost his appeal this week.

Lopez, a former Austin resident, had admitted to abusing his victim for six years from the time the child was eight years old. In August 2010, he pleaded guilty to 13 counts of aggravated sexual assault and five counts of sexual assault of a child.

Hays County Assistant District Attorney Amy Lockhart said Lopez had effectively taken the childhood of the victim and urged the court to “forever end Duran’s ability to abuse children.”

Lopez, 40, is ineligible for parole until he has served a minimum of 120 years in prison. After Lopez filed an appeal with the Third Court of Appeals, his court-appointed attorney filed a brief with the same court claiming the appeal was frivolous.

“We have reviewed the record and counsel’s brief and agree that the appeal is frivolous and without merit,” wrote appeals judge Diane M. Henson in an opinion filed Wednesday. “We find nothing in the record that might arguably support the appeal. See Bledsoe v. State, 178 S.W.3d 824, 826-27 (Tex. Crim. App. 2005). Counsel’s motion to withdraw is granted. The judgment of conviction is affirmed.”

Upon conviction, Lopez waived his right to a jury and instead chose to have the trial court assess punishment. He faced a sentence of 25 years to life on each count. District judge Jack Robison sentenced Lopez to 18 life sentences and ordered that four of the sentences run consecutively. Robison also ordered Lopez to pay $100,000 in restitution to his victim.