Convicted child abuser faces up to 25 years in prison after plea agreement in child sex case

Santos Vigil, 37, had been pushing for overnight visitations with son despite criminal history, child sex assault charge against him

Santos Vigil speaks with KSAT's Dillon Collier.
Santos Vigil speaks with KSAT's Dillon Collier. (KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio man who had been pushing for overnight visitations with his son despite having a violent criminal history out of state faces up to 25 years in prison after pleading no contest to aggravated sex assault of a child Friday.

Santos Vigil, 37, is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 9, according to a copy of his plea agreement obtained by the KSAT 12 Defenders.

He has applied for deferred adjudication but prosecutors have already opposed that request, according to the agreement, which states his sentence cannot be longer than 25 years.

Convicted child abuser indicted for sex assault of 9-year-old child allowed visitations with son, 5

Vigil was the focus of a Defenders investigation last month after he asked a Bexar County civil court judge for overnight visitations with his son, 5, as long as a member of Vigil’s family was present.

Vigil’s wife opposed the request, citing the then-pending continuous sex abuse of a child case against Vigil along with a lengthy criminal history in Michigan that included a conviction of child abuse.

Vigil lashed out at the Defenders as he left the hearing and refused to answer questions about the allegations against him in Bexar County as well as his Michigan criminal record.

“You’re making a clown of yourself. This is a (expletive) divorce proceeding," Vigil said. "What the (expletive)?”

An arrest warrant signed in April 2018 accused Vigil of repeatedly sexually assaulting his stepdaughter beginning when she was nine years old and continuing until she was 13.

The sexual assaults stopped, according to the warrant, only after the teen was taken to a hospital.

A public records search shows that Vigil had at least ten encounters with police in Ludington, a small harbor town on the west side of Michigan, between 2005 and 2007.

Vigil was arrested multiple times and listed as a criminal suspect in a majority of the cases.

Among the incidents:

  • January 2006: Vigil investigated for child abuse after a three-year-old boy in his care was found with possible bite marks and circular bruises. Vigil was never charged.
  • January 2006: Six days later, Vigil was arrested for felonious home invasion after he and another man broke into a home and assaulted several people inside. One victim told police Vigil held a small knife to his throat, threatened to kill him and then cut his forehead after scraping the tip of the blade from the man's throat to his forehead. Records show Vigil was later convicted of home invasion.
  • January 2006: A day after the home invasion, Vigil was arrested for disorderly conduct after officers said he became belligerent, ignored their commands and obstructed them from arresting another person at a bar.
  • July 2006: Vigil arrested for child abuse after the boy from the January 2006 investigation was found with bruises on both sides of his face and his back. A second victim, a woman Vigil was dating, was found with a black eye. Vigil told police he switched from hitting the boy with his fists to using a belt after being released from prison. Records show Vigil later pleaded guilty and was ordered not to be around the woman or child.
  • April 2007: For the second time in four months, Vigil is investigated for possibly violating a protective order by being around the woman and child. The boy told officers Vigil was still hitting him. There is no record that Vigil was arrested for this incident.

A spokesperson for the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

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