GONZALES, LA (WAFB) - A former Sorrento and Gonzales Police reserve officer has been sentence to five years in prison for a sex crime involving one of his relatives.
Owen Ockman, Jr. lowered his head and walked out of the Ascension Parish courthouse in silence.
In August, a jury found Ockman guilty of indecent behavior with a juvenile. The victim is his niece, Bria Herron. She said she was 13 years old when Ockman first molested her, and that it continued until she was 16.
"I started to get really sick and anxious. I didn't know what was going on," Herron said.
Bria recalled the moments she spoke up and when Ockman was arrested three and a half years ago.
"I was scared to death. I didn't want him to get in trouble. I didn't want anything bad to happen to him and I knew my family was going to fall apart after it," Herron said.
Bria is 21 now and is set to graduate from Southeastern Louisiana University in May. However, she said her college years have been tainted by court appearances, a trial, and multiple delays. It has been hard on her and her family, especially her younger brother, David Cambre, who said he trusted and confided in Ockman as a child.
"No uncle, no police officer, no one in this power of authority should ever do this to anybody. I commend [my sister] again for being so strong and staying strong throughout," David Cambre said.
While Ockman has not admitted guilt and has not shown any remorse, Herron hopes her uncle eventually accepts responsibility for his actions.
"I still love him, but I want him to change. I want him to get better, to learn from his. I want him to become a better person," Herron said.
Ockman's attorney appealed the five-year sentence. Meantime, Judge Jessie LeBlanc has set a $125,000 appeals bond.