Pasadena Mother Sentenced to 40 Years in Child Abuse Case

Pasadena Mother Sentenced to 40 Years in Child Abuse Case
Emily Aust

Emily Aust, a 30-year-old mother, has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for her involvement in the abuse of two children, a toddler, and a newborn, starting in 2019, announced Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg on Wednesday.

“Texas laws give the same range of punishment for an abuser and for cases like this where a parent consciously and repeatedly puts a child in harm’s way by leaving them with an abuser,” Ogg stated. “This was not a one-time mistake or some awful accident, this was a pattern of intentional abuse. The children in our community deserve better.”

Aust and her boyfriend, 25-year-old Austin Reid, were arrested in 2020 as authorities investigated the circumstances surrounding the injuries sustained by Aust’s children.

In the first case, two-year-old Lucas, Aust’s son from a previous relationship, was taken to Texas Children’s Hospital after being left alone with Reid on May 19, 2019. Reid claimed Lucas drowned in the bathtub, but evidence of multiple bruises and cigarette burns suggested ongoing abuse. Lucas was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Following Lucas’s death, Aust, who was pregnant with Reid’s child, gave birth to a newborn in late December. Five weeks later, the infant was hospitalized with a dislocated elbow and signs of head trauma consistent with violent shaking. Authorities took custody of the baby.

Aust and Reid were investigated by the Houston Police Department and charged with child abuse. Scene photos from their residence revealed drug paraphernalia, indicating an unsafe environment for children.

Assistant District Attorney Gilbert Sawtelle prosecuted both cases, revealing Reid’s admission to substance abuse during the incidents. Aust admitted to drug and alcohol use, which escalated after her first child’s death.

“All of this happened because she allowed it to happen by ignoring the constant signs of child abuse, including the death of her first child,” Sawtelle commented.

Reid pleaded guilty to both cases in July and received a 50-year sentence. Aust pleaded guilty in November and received two separate 40-year sentences, to be served concurrently. She is ineligible for appeal and must serve at least half of her sentence before parole consideration.