Punishment phase begins in Medical Center rape trial

Prosecutors promise testimony from other alleged victims

Punishment phase begins in Medical Center rape trial

SAN ANTONIO – After deliberating for five hours on Thursday, the jury found Anton Harris, 21, guilty on rape and robbery charges.

Harris, known as the Medical Center Rapist, allegedly forced his way into the apartment of a nurse, raped her and stole her watch, iPhone and iPad.

The nurse, who prosecutors called Jane to protect her identity, was attacked in May of 2017.

“What happened to Jane at her Mission Ranch apartment on May 28, 2017, was the last of the defendant’s crimes,” prosecutor Daryl Harris told the jury Thursday as the punishment phase of Anton Harris’ trial began.

Detectives say gold watch is key evidence in Medical Center rape case

With that, he promised testimony from other women that were allegedly raped and robbed by Harris during a crime spree that they say began in 2015 and ran until his 2017 arrest.

During that time, residents lived in fear, Harris said.

Police stepped up patrols in the area looking for what they feared was a serial rapist, according to Ramon Moreno, a retired detective who was working in the area during that time.

“Our captain decided to make a mini task force with our officers that were working directed patrol,” he testified.

Prosecutors say they plan to call at least 20 witnesses to the stand during the trial’s punishment phase.

The defense too plans to call witnesses.

“We don’t want you to become numb to this,” Jonathan Watkins, a defense attorney, told the jury. “This young man, you will learn, had to endure stuff in his childhood that wasn’t normal.”

Anton Harris found guilty in Medical Center rape trial

Harris is facing a maximum punishment of life in prison.

Testimony will continue on Friday in Judge Frank Castro’s 399th District Court.

About the Author:

Paul Venema is a courthouse reporter for KSAT with more than 25 years experience in the role.