Sheriff's deputies in Texas say they will not file charges against a father who beat another man to death after he allegedly caught the man sexually abusing his 4-year-old daughter. The father repeatedly punched the alleged molester and killed him.
The Huffington Post reports that during a social event in Shiner on Saturday, the girl was inside the family's home while other members of the family were outside. According to MSN Now, the alleged molester, who was invited to the family's house for a social event, attacked the girl inside the house while members of the family were outside.
Lavaca County Sheriff Micah Harmon, said the girl's father caught the 47-year-old man, with whom he was casually acquainted, attempting to molest his daughter in the house. The father punched the alleged molester in the head repeatedly, and he died.
The father and his daughter were not named to protect the identity of the 4-year-old girl. CNN reports that Harmon said the girl was "Ok, besides the obvious mental trauma" of the incident. The girl was taken to a local hospital in Victoria, Texas for medical examination and then released.
The name of the alleged molester also was not released pending announcement of his death to his family. CNN reports it was not known whether the man had any prior criminal record.
The Sheriff's office says although they have decided not to file charges against the father, they will defer to a grand jury on the decision whether charges should be brought against the father or not.
AP reports the father said he went into the house after he heard his daughter screaming. According to AP, Harmon said there was no evidence that the father beat the alleged molester to death for "any reason other than what he told us." Harmon added: "In the course of trying to get her away from him, and protect her, he struck the subject several times in the head and the subject died."
CNN reports that when the sheriff was asked whether they would press charges against the father, he said they were not pressing charges because: "You have a right to defend your daughter. [The girl's father] acted in defense of his third person. Once the investigation is completed we will submit it to the district attorney who then submits it to the grand jury, who will decide if they will indict him."
Lavaca County Precinct Judge Alene Lyons, said the preliminary autopsy report indicates the victim "died from blunt-force head and neck injuries." He said "It will take six weeks to get the full report back because they also did a toxicology report."
The Huffington Post reports the father said he was "very remorseful" about the death. He said he did not know that the alleged molester would die of the injuries.
MSN Now reports that some members of the community have hailed the father of the girl a "hero." According to CNN, a resident said the molester "got what he deserved."
AP reports that the alleged molester has been identified as a 47-year-old man from Gonzales, Texas