Woman admits lying about sexual assault

Testimony could free Frank Navarijo, retired SAPD officer


SAN ANTONIO – A 20-year-old woman told a judge that she lied when she testified that Frank Navarijo, a retired San Antonio police officer, had inappropriate sexual contact with her.

The victim, who was 5 at the time, said Friday that a relative forced her to lie during Navarijo's 1999 trial.

She said her decision to recant her testimony was based on guilt.

"Over time, it was building up and I was feeling guilt and one day I just decided that I needed to get this off my chest," she told Judge Maria Teresa Herr during a hearing on Friday. "I just wanted to set the record straight."

Navarijo, who is 70, has already served 13 years of his 20-year sentence.

Herr will review Friday's testimony as well as affidavits submitted by jurors in Navarijo's trial as well as those from other relatives.

She will then make a recommendation to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

The appeals court will decide whether to overturn Navarijo's conviction or let it stand.

Their decision is not expected for several months.

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