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West man sentenced to deferred probation in two sexual assaults

West man sentenced to deferred probation in two sexual assaults

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A West man who sexually assaulted two women in 2016 and 2018 was placed on deferred probation Tuesday.

Judge Susan Kelly of Waco’s 54th State District Court granted Kasey Wayne Rizo’s request and placed him on deferred probation for 10 years during a brief sentencing hearing Tuesday.

Kasey Wayne Rizo

Rizo

Rizo pleaded guilty in August to two counts of sexual assault, a second-degree felony that carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Both women reported that on separate occasions they fell asleep at a home on Washington Street in West and woke up when Rizo penetrated them with his finger, according to reports filed in the case.

The victim in the first case did not report the incident until almost two years later, leading to Rizo’s initial arrest after his indictment in December 2018. The second victim reported that she was abused by Rizo after learning about the first woman’s allegations, West police said. He was indicted again in April 2019.

Both cases were sent by West police to the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office as screening or referral cases.

Rizo’s attorney, Cody Cleveland, said a background investigation by probation officers ordered by the judge before she accepted the prosecution’s plea recommendation found that Rizo is considered low risk to reoffend and overall a good candidate for probation.

“I appreciate the probation department doing a thorough investigation into my client and the judge for following the state’s recommendation and probation’s recommendation,” Cleveland said.

In deferred probation cases, there is no final judgment of guilt if a defendant completes probation. If a defendant violates conditions of probation, a judge can adjudicate his guilt and sentence him to the full range of punishment.

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