Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

November 5, 2013

Rusk man indicted for July 4 sexual assault of a child

Ben Tinsley
Jacksonville Daily Progress

RUSK —  A Rusk man recently indicted by a Cherokee County grand jury for sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl at Jacksonville Lake faces a possible sentence of 99 years to life in prison if convicted.

Joey Lira Longoria, 37, is alleged to have attacked the girl at Jacksonville Lake during the July 4 holiday weekend.

He was recently indicted by the Cherokee County grand jury of aggravated sexual assault of a child, which is punishable by 5 to 99 years or life in prison.

The attack took place about 6:30 p.m. July 4,. Jacksonville police reports show.

The girl made an outcry to a relative about the attack, then repeated the allegation to her mother, police said.

The victim's father ultimately attempted to confront Joey Lira Longoria, 37, on the scene about the attack.

But Longoria — who was cutting watermelon  with a kitchen knife at the lake concession stand at the time — instead chose to flee.

"He wound up running away from the father and the family called for police," Jacksonville Police Det. James Oden said in July. "He did not resist arrest.”

Longoria was initially arrested on suspicion of indecency to a child. But the charge was upgraded to aggravated sexual assault of a child after police uncovered more details about the alleged attack.

Longoria remained in custody Tuesday in Cherokee County Jail with bond set at $75,000, jail records show.

Records indicate that this bond amount was set by the same grand jury that indicted Longoria.