A Pearland woman was sentenced to 20 years in prison for her role in brutally beating and sexually assaulting a man at a northwest Harris County bar, District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Thursday.
“This was a vicious attack, and this woman not only participated but she also tried to hide the evidence of what happened,” Ogg said. “Our hearts go out to the victim, who was completely innocent and should have been safe just taking shelter from the cold.”
Ariel Cordoba, 31, pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault, aggravated robbery and aggravated assault before her co-defendant, 38-year-old Felix Vale, who was convicted last month by a jury and sentenced to 82 years in prison. The couple worked together to beat a fellow patron at a bar unconscious and then continued to beat and assault him during the historic winter storm in February 2021. Cordoba was sentenced Wednesday following a punishment hearing.
The 49-year-old victim and a friend had gone to a bar in the 17000 block of Ella Boulevard for a few drinks. Surveillance video showed they were peacefully sitting at the bar when they were confronted by an angry couple, Felix Vale and Ariel Cordoba.
The couple left the bar and returned about 10 minutes later. They then attacked the victim, who was knocked unconscious within the first five seconds of the beating. The couple continued to hit the victim with their fists, feet, a barstool and a gun for almost a half-hour until deputies with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office arrived. The attack, which happened during Houston’s massive 2021 ice storm, delayed law enforcement.
During the beating, the couple took the victim’s wallet and sexually assaulted him. He underwent several surgeries related to the attack and continues to recover.
Assistant District Attorney Ryan Volkmer, who prosecuted the case with ADA Jarrell Gibson, said the victim deserved justice.
“This horrible incident was captured on video, and it is very difficult to watch for witnesses, jurors and even the judge,” he said. “This couple took deliberate actions and worked together to violently beat a complete stranger, and we have worked to see that justice is done.”
Volkmer praised the witnesses and the victim for facing both Cordoba and Vale in court and noted that the Harris County Sheriff’s Office worked hard to see that the couple were held accountable.