Houston/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on April 14, 2024
Source: Harris County District Attorney

The streets of east Houston’s Pleasantville area saw justice served as Erique Howard, a local man dubbed a serial rapist, was handed a hefty 50-year prison sentence for a spree of sexual assaults. According to details from the Harris County District Attorney's Office cited by FOX 26 Houston, the 28-year-old committed the violent acts between 2020 and 2022.

Described as premeditated and monstrous, Howard was convicted of two counts of aggravated sexual assault and armed robbery, targeting women at gunpoint. "This defendant made plans and followed through with those plans to violate and assault numerous victims," District Attorney Kim Ogg conveyed, underscoring the jury's agreement that Howard's danger to the public was indisputable.

Dragging sufferers to secluded spots after ambushing them, Howard leveraged the woodsy geography of his neighborhood to evade capture. "He chose to be a predator near his home in Pleasantville because he knew how to hide in the woods in that area and he knew where to take the women to commit his crimes," Assistant District Attorney Steven Harris pointed out in the KHOU article.

An unrelated run-in with law enforcement led to Howard's undoing after DNA samples, taken during an arrest, linked him to the assaults. As the tendrils of his past deeds encapsulated him, four other women stood ready to testify to similar ordeals meted out by Howard’s hands.

Prosecutors like Savana Hooper painted a chilling arc of escalation, remarking on the perversion of youth's potential to benevolence with Howard's ever-worsening acts. "It’s shocking because he’s so young and his actions were rapidly growing in severity," she told KHOU. Judges have decreed that Howard must serve at least 25 years before parole eligibility is within reach.