Man sentenced to life in prison in McLennan County's first human trafficking trial

Man sentenced to life in prison in McLennan County's first human trafficking trial
Posted at 11:49 AM, Mar 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-23 12:49:00-04

(3/24/2016) On Thursday, jurors gave Andre Evans the maximum punishment in McLennan County’s first human trafficking trial.

He was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty on three counts of human trafficking and nine counts of sexual assault of a child.

Victim's supporters filled the courtroom, including her legal guardian and counsel and members of the non-profit UnBound, which aims to fight slavery in the community, with a specific focus on domestic minor sex trafficking. 

Earlier this week, the victim testified in court that she came from troubled beginnings, bouncing from home to home before ending up in Evans house.

The victim was only 15 years old when she said Andre Evans abused her, kept her high on drugs and made money off the men who had sex with her.

On Thursday, the victim was in the courtroom when jurors awarded the maximum sentence for Evans.

Attorneys for the now 16-year-old victim said the verdict is one of the first steps in the healing process for the teen.

“She was very excited that they came back guilty on all counts. This is just the beginning for her. She's got a long road ahead and for her recovery but this is a very good start,” said Josh Tetens, the victim’s legal counsel.

Assistant District Attorney Gabrielle Massey applauded the victim on her testimony.

“The courage and strength of this survivor of horrific sex slavery has shed light on these crimes that far too often are cloaked in darkness. Human trafficking is a serious issue in our community and this jury’s verdict clearly says we will not tolerate human trafficking in McLennan County,” said Massey in a statement.


A Travis County prosecutor was the first to testify. The alleged victim testified next, but not before the courtroom’s blinds were drawn to protect the identity of the 16-year-old girl who claims she was trafficked.

The girl’s testimony described a troubled childhood full of CPS, previous sexual assault, and a past of running away.

According to the girl, CPS took her from her mother and gave her to her grandmother when she was six.  Her aunt and uncle adopted her when she was about seven or eight-- it was in her new adoptive parents' house that she said she was first victimized.

She said she started self-mutilating, getting very aggressive, smoking weed, and hanging out late by the time she was 12-years-old.

The next three years described by the girl included running away, being taken back into CPS custody, and being bounced around from group homes to mental institutions. All before meeting the defendant at the age of 15.

While on the stand, the girl says she doesn’t remember how many people the defendant made her have sex with, but she does remember telling him how old she was at the time. “I did tell him I was 15-years-old. I told Quita, Charity, Bird—like I told people how old I was, but he didn’t hear. But he does now,” she said.

Both the state and the defense rested their case on Thursday. Closing arguments and jury deliberation begin Friday at 9:30 a.m.

News Channel 25's Taylor Alanis, Kandace Thomas and Estephany Escobar contributed to this story.

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