Man gets 50 years in attack at church

| November 24, 2009

CORPUS CHRISTI — The defendant said he didn’t want to cause any more pain.

So on Monday, a shackled Frederick Anderson pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated sexual assault of an elderly person for his Sept. 13 attack on a church volunteer.

As part of a plea deal, 214th District Judge Jose Longoria sentenced Anderson to 50 years in prison.

Police have said the woman, 77, was attacked at Most Precious Blood Catholic Church after she went to a storage closet to get candles. She fought back and members of the church’s Knights of Columbus organization came to her aid.

Prosecutor Lisa Harris told the judge the woman approved of the deal.

The woman’s niece said until last week she had been caring for her aunt, who suffered a broken rib and back. The woman still wears a back brace.

Anderson, 36, offered an apology.

“I feel very sad and I’m very sorry for what I did… I really am,” he said.

His subdued demeanor was a stark contrast to the way he first appeared in court. The scratches that had marred his face had healed. The wild look in his eyes was gone. He no longer fidgeted constantly.

He understood his fate.

“I’m probably going to die in prison,” he said.

He said the plea deal was the only way he knew of to avoid hurting the woman and her family even more.

Anderson must serve half his sentence before he is parole eligible.

Anderson was indicted as a repeat felony offender, which meant he could have faced 15 to 99 years or life in prison.

His attorney, Hector Rene Gonzalez, said what happened was terrible and he felt his client’s remorse was genuine.

He attributed the change in Anderson’s demeanor to medication, which helped calm him and prevent hallucinations.

Anderson suffers from depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and has post-traumatic stress disorder from spending so much time isolated in prison, Gonzalez said.

A mental evaluation found Anderson competent to stand trial and sane at the time of the attack.

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Category: Church Security

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