HOUSTON—A Catholic charity worker was sentenced Friday to serve seven years in prison for sexually assaulting an 11-year-old boy multiple times at a charity center after luring him into his office with caramel candy in 2007.
Back then, the family had just arrived from Cuba and was at the center hoping to get financial assistance when Carlos Antonio Valera began targeting their young son, according to court documents.
The boy was waiting in the lobby of the charity center on November 15, 2007 when the 51-year-old worker walked by and offered him some caramel candy. Once the child stepped into the office to get the treat, Valera immediately grabbed him by the wrist and forced him to touch his private parts, according to police. The child did not tell anyone what happened.
Police said the child and his family returned to the charity again later that month for more help.
That time, Valera lured the child into his office again by offering more caramel candy. When the child entered the room, he was forced to sit on Valera’s lap and sexually assaulted. Valera showed the boy pictures of a large house on his computer and a check. Valera then told the boy if he remained silent, Valera would buy nice things for him and would give his parents the check, according to court documents.
The boy told police he did as he was told and remained silent then because he was afraid the charity would stop helping his family.
Valera was charged with felony indecency with a child and turned himself into authorities on August 25, 2011.