A Norman man received six life sentences Monday on counts including rape, child sexual abuse and child abuse, plus other sentences on four additional charges, all to run consecutive.
Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman sentenced Jose Perez Manarang Jr., 44, during a day-long non-jury trial to life in prison on two counts of rape, three counts of child abuse and one count of child sexual abuse, and 20 years each on lewd acts with a child under age 16, possession and manufacturing of child pornography and soliciting a minor for child pornography.
Manarang appeared in court with attorney Zack Ramsey. Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Austin presented the state’s case, which included testimony from one of the victims, one of the victim's mother, a brother and two detectives. The defense called no witnesses.
The victims’ mother testified that she met Manarang in 2012 and married him in 2013. The marriage ended in 2017. She has three children, currently ages 17, 14 and 8, while Manarang had three other children.
At the time she lived with him, she said Manarang was mean to everyone.
He moved from Eufala to Norman with their kids in May 2017, then she moved in August after she was done with her work. She testified that she lived with Manarang in a house in Norman for three months before moving out due to a separation and eventual divorce in August 2018.
The mother said during the separation, she noticed that Manarang had abused one of the children still under his care, causing bruises, and called the child’s grandmother, who called the police in November 2017. That child moved to Louisiana in February 2018 to live under a relative’s custody.
The mother testified that while she was living in an apartment in Norman with the children, Manarang came over all the time to pick up one of his children. She was not aware that he was visiting more frequently and picking up her oldest daughter.
She testified that her daughter told her in October 2018 that something had been going on with her and Manarang. She reported it to the police, who forensically interviewed her daughter.
The mother said Manarang called and argued with her a lot after that, claiming her daughter had fallen in love with him and he had done nothing to her. She also testified that Manarang asked her multiple times to change her story and tell police she lied, which she refused to do.
She testified that she unaware Manarang was sexually abusing her daughter until her daughter told her and didn’t have any information about him abusing the other child until she saw his bruises.
The woman’s daughter testified that her abuse by Manarang started in 2016 when she was about 12 and they lived in Eufala and continued when they moved to Norman.
The victim testified that Manarang started making her uncomfortable two months after she moved to Oklahoma, when he would go inside her bedroom and touch her privates and eventually her chest with his hand. She said Manarang told her not to tell her mother, because he would go to jail; he would tell her mother he was teaching her English.
She testified that she felt scared, and Manarang started touching her privates daily with his mouth in her bedroom. Eventually, he started raping her in her bedroom at night.
The victim said Manarang forced her to touch his privates with her hand and mouth. She also said Manarang would film her with his phone during some of these instances and tell her to act happy.
He also told her if she told her mother, he would release the videos and she would be sent back to her native land.
The victim also said Manarang showed her videos of he and her mother having sex. She also said Manarang saved the videos to his computer.
The victim said that after the separation, Manarang would come over uninvited and continued assaulting her. He also would take her to his house and assault her there. She said the frequency of abuse lessened a little after the separation.
She said Manarang told her to tell her mother she was going to a friend’s house to cover up the abuse. She eventually told her mother because she knew what was happening was wrong, she testified.
The mother said Manarang left the country for the Philippines in October 2018 after she reported the abuse and returned in January 2019. She said Manarang told her police had confiscated his phone and he wanted her to retrieve his laptop, which she didn’t do and which she reported to police.
One of the mother’s sons testified that sometimes Manarang would get mad at him and hit him, but Manarang was nice to his sister.
He said Manarang abused another child, around age 4 or 5 at the time, by hitting his face and body, holding him underwater, placing a plastic bag over his head, kicking his stomach, flicking his lip, picking him up high off the ground by his hair, then dropping him and grabbing him by the throat.
He said the abuse occurred in Eufala and Norman, and he saw the child with bruises and a swollen mouth. He testified that Manarang would make him and his sister watch the abuse. Manarang would sometimes apologize for the abuse but would do it again and would make up excuses for the bruises to his wife.
He said he reported the abuse to his mother, who then moved out with the children in November 2017. He also talked to an employee at Mary Abbott Children’s House about the abuse.
Norman Police Det. Glenda Vassar testified that the initial report came in Oct. 15, 2018, and that she requested the case. She said the child involved in the child abuse case was forensically interviewed in Louisiana, and she requested those reports.
Vassar said she spoke to Manarang over the phone after the report was filed and he denied everything. Manarang was arrested Jan. 16, 2019, outside his house on his return to the U.S., and his phone was seized. During a search, a laptop, computer disks, a video camera and other computers also were seized.
Vassar said Norman Police Sgt. Gary Schmidt found videos and photographs involving sexual acts on the laptop, and she identified the female victim as one of the subjects in a number of the images.
Schmidt, a computer forensic investigator, said he located 46 video files believed to contain child pornography.