A former Metairie resident faces 25 years to 99 years in prison, for his conviction Tuesday night (May 17) of fondling a child.
Alejandro Bravo, 45, was convicted as charged of sexual battery of a juvenile under age 13, in connection with at least three instances of touching that happened over a period of time ending in March 2013, when the girl was 7 years old. Bravo was acquainted with the child through her step-grandmother.
According to trial testimony, the girl was visiting the step-grandmother at her Severn Avenue home on March 9, 2013, when the last incident occurred. The child, now 10, testified Tuesday that he touched her inappropriately after she sat on Bravo’s lap to watch a video on a computer.
The step-grandmother testified she heard the child tell Bravo to stop touching her and then questioned the child apart from Bravo. The child disclosed that the man had touched her genitals, the woman testified.
The step-grandmother called her own mother before she told the child’s parents, who in turn notified the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. Still, the step-grandmother testified that she did not believe the child.
The child testified she recalled three instances of Bravo touching and hurting her. She learned that Bravo’s behavior was wrong only “when the police came to my house,” she testified.
Sgt. Terri Danna, a Sheriff’s Office juvenile crimes detective who has investigated hundreds of child sex abuse cases, testified she got involved in the investigation on March 11, 2013, two days after the child disclosed Bravo’s touching.
Danna testified the child disclosed the abuse to her, too. The detective obtained an arrest warrant more than two weeks later, after the victim disclosed the abuse to a forensic interviewer at the Jefferson Children’ Advocacy Center.
The child also disclosed the crimes to a child abuse physician at the Audrey Hepburn Children at Risk Evaluation (CARE) Center at Children’s Hospital in New Orleans, according to trial testimony.
By that point, Bravo had vanished, Danna testified. “I had to suspend the investigation pending his apprehension,” she testified.
Bravo remained at large until May 2015, when he was located in Minnesota and extradited to Jefferson Parish, Danna testified. Danna said that during her interview with the suspect, the only statement he volunteered was that his coworkers in Minnesota used cocaine.
Bravo testified Tuesday, telling jurors the child “obviously” was lying.
Assistant District Attorneys Lindsay Truhe and Michael Smith prosecuted the case.