Native Texan Maritza Antu was born in McAllen and moved to Houston 15 years ago. She is seeking the Republican nomination for Judge of the 185th Criminal District Court in the March 6th Harris County Republican Primary.
Maritza graduated from the University of Texas with a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and attended law school at the University of Houston Law Center.
Maritza joined the Harris County District Attorney’s Office in 2005 and worked her way up the ranks in the office.
In more than 11 years as a prosecutor she worked in various divisions within the office and rose to the rank of Chief Prosecutor in the 178th Criminal District Court and also worked as a Chief Prosecutor in the Public Integrity Division.
In the process of trying 70 cases to a jury or judge, Maritza tried everything from misdemeanor cases to capital murders. As a supervisor of other prosecutors, she handled hundreds of additional criminal cases of all types, including violent offenses like capital murders, aggravated robberies and sexual assaults. She also handled cases involving public corruption and abuse of power.
Some of the work Maritza is most proud of includes her handling of child sexual assault cases and working with young victims. While assigned to the Child Abuse Division for more than two years, Maritza secured 20 convictions for defendants who preyed on the most vulnerable. Three cases involved children less than six-years-old and the defendants in the separate cases received 25-year sentences as first offenders who were probation eligible.
Maritza’s work as a prosecutor earned her the distinction as a “Legal Leader on the Rise” in Texas Lawyer Magazine in 2013.
Maritza, who is fluent in Spanish, started her own law practice in January 2017. Part of her practice involves working with low-risk and non-violent offenders struggling with substance abuse issues who can be successfully reintegrated into society with the proper supervision.
Maritza lives in Houston with her husband of seven years, prosecutor Matthew Peneguy, and their four-year-old daughter Daniella. They are parishioners at St. Anne Catholic Church in Houston.