Baldwin sentenced to 50 years in prison
After a brief trial, Timothy Quentin Baldwin, 40, of Vidor, was found guilty Tuesday and sentenced to 50 years in prison for the first degree felony of aggravated sexual assault of a child. A first degree felony carries a sentence of probation to 99 years in prison, but because of Baldwin’s three prior felony convictions the charge was enhanced and carried a penalty range of 15 years to life.
Baldwin’s daughter was 13 years old at the time of the assault in October 2011, according to court testimony. She is now 14 years old and was the first to testify during the trial. On the witness stand she told jurors what lead up to the events when Baldwin assaulted her.
The girl said she didn’t know her father until her mother returned home from the grocery store and informed her she had given him her phone number. Within a short time, he contacted the girl. Through phone conversations and text messages she began to get to know him. Finally after a few weeks she was ready to meet him at his residence.
She told jurors a few weeks after their first meeting she was spending the night and she had a lot of fun “hanging out” and playing video games. However, during these visits she slept in the same bed as her father because there was only one bed and his friends often slept on the couch. The pair would often watch TV until they fell asleep. “I liked visiting my dad,” she said. “It was different having a dad.”
During testimony it was revealed he had assaulted her sexually more than once. Following a late night incident of sexual assault and still upset the following morning she talked to him about the events. According to the girl, “he promised to never do it again.” The girl “desperate to have a father in her life” believed him and worked on their relationship by learning to trust him again. She testified she did not tell her mother or grandmother about the assault because “I really wanted a dad.”
Within a month she was back to spending the night and she began to trust her father more. On the final night she spent time with her father, he had picked her up from band practice. She later went to a football game. Around 10 p.m. she returned back to his residence. Together they watched TV until she drifted off to sleep. However, around 1 a.m. she felt him nudge her and tell her to take her pants off. She told jurors she heard him but went back to sleep.
A short time later she awoke and realized her pants were off and he was holding her down while he assaulted her, according to court testimony. ‘I said stop, but I don’t think he heard me,” she said. She then said it louder and he stopped what he was doing. He got up and went to the bathroom.
The girl testified she was in fear and didn’t want him to hear a phone conversation so she accessed her Facebook account on her phone. She said she looked to see who was online at the time. At first she contacted someone she knew but they were unable to assist. Finally she was able to chat with a friend online where she told them “My dad practically raped me.”
According to testimony, the friend told her to wait and he would call the police. The girl told jurors she told her father she needed to go to the bathroom which was nearby. However, she instead went into the living room area and waited for police to arrive.
A short time later there was a knock at the front door. Baldwin exited his bedroom but once he realized who was at the door he went back to his room and locked the door. It took a while, but eventually he was coaxed out, according to court testimony.
An officer entered the residence while another officer waited outside. For safety reasons, the girl was placed into a patrol vehicle. She was taken to a nearby hospital where she had an exam to gather evidence. Baldwin was taken to the police department to give a statement.
Once there he complained of health problems and was taken to a nearby hospital. He later returned voluntarily to give his statement.
Officer L.B. Cupit, of the Vidor Police Department, testified there may not be any evidence of the assault since this time Baldwin had only assaulted her with his hands. In addition, Cupit read Baldwin’s statement where Baldwin stated he may have inappropriately touched the girl while sleeping.
Defense attorney, Rife Kimler, stated during closing arguments, the allegations were an attempt to get attention. “If she was truly in danger, why not call her mom or grandmother to come and get her instead of getting on Facebook,” he said.
However, Corey Kneeland, assistant Orange County District Attorney fired back during his closing arguments, “What matters is she asked for help.”