Jessica’s Law – Pedo Pop gets 35 years

Assistant District Attorney Jason Parrish said even if the defendant was 50 to 80 years old when he was released from prison, 50- to 80-year-old men molest children. He asked the jury to make sure he doesn’t do it again and asked him to sentence him to life.“He didn’t show that little boy any mercy. Y’all don’t show him any mercy,” Parrish said.

A 31-year-old Tyler man who repeatedly molested his young son for nearly a year will have to spend every day of a 35-year sentence in prison under a new law imposing stiffer sentences for sex offenders.

The defendant pleaded guilty to continuous sexual abuse of a child and was the first person in Smith County to be convicted under Jessica’s Law, which does not allow parole and includes a sentencing range of 25 years to life for the first offense of continual sexual abuse. A Smith County jury in 241st District Judge Jack Skeen Jr.’s court sentenced him to 35 years in prison after an hour of deliberation.

The 11-year-old fifth-grader said he likes history, science, baseball, football and fishing.

His parents are divorced, and he stayed with his mother for two weeks and then his father for two weeks each month. While with his dad, they shared a bed at his aunt’s house.
One night, as he was dozing off to sleep, the boy said he felt his dad touching his private part.

“I remember feeling a very depressing feeling. … It kind of shocked me a little bit,” he said. “He was touching me in the wrong area.”

He said he was scared and confused and that it didn’t feel right. He said his father began touching him every night or every other night for a year and that he sometimes was made to touch his father. The boy said he also was made to watch pornographic movies.

The victim said his father also hit him with a fist or open hand on occasion and once wrapped him up in a blanket and punched him. He said he was scared and that his dad told him not to tell anyone. The boy said he was afraid he would get into trouble if he did one little thing wrong.

After about a year of the abuse, he told his teacher and his mother.

“I couldn’t hold it in no more,” he said.

The victim’s 29-year-old mother testified she and the defendant divorced when their son was 3 or 4. On Nov. 1, 2008, her son told her his father made him watch pornographic movies, was messing with him and had hit him, so she called police. She said it made her feel very bad because she didn’t see what she now thinks were signs of sexual abuse.

She said that when her son stayed with his dad, her ex-husband wouldn’t want her to talk to her son. She said her son would sit for hours beating the ground and killing ants with a stick or hammer. One day, she said, when he was hitting the grass like he was “attacking” it, she asked him what he was doing, and he said he was “fighting.” She said since he was taken away from his father, he no longer does that. He is a happier child and is more active. He likes to hunt with his BB gun, fish, read the Bible and tell stories, his mother said.

Tyler Police detectives Paul Robeson and Michelle Brock investigated the case. Jurors were shown an hour-long video of an interview they conducted with the defendant.

The man repeatedly denied the allegations and said his ex-wife and her family manipulated the boy. He said his son was a good, kind-hearted and trustworthy kid.

The defendant admitted to showing his son a pornographic movie once to show him men shouldn’t treat women that way and to wait until he was married. He said he might have tried to explain sex to him the wrong way, but that was all he did. He repeatedly said he never touched the boy and said he was molested as a child and “would never do that to another child.” He said a person who molests a child should go to prison and the have key thrown away.

Later in the interview, the man said maybe he accidentally have touched the boy or the boy touched him while they were asleep. He said he never hit his son, but had spanked him before.
The defendant repeatedly said what happened between he and his son was not a sexual event. He later said he rubbed the boy’s leg but that he never had the boy touch him.

After the detectives searched the defendant’s bedroom and found several items the victim said were there, Robeson talked to the defendant again.

The defendant then said his son had touched him five or six times and it got out of hand and that he told him to stop. “I was wrong for that,” he said.

“I wish I could go back in time and stop myself from doing that,” he said, adding that he would go to counseling. He said he loved his son and wanted the best for him.

Robeson told the jury they found three pornographic movies: “The Babysitter No. 12,” “The Babysitter No. 25” and “Don’t Tell Mommy No. 4.” They also found three drawings the victim did that show a man and woman engaged in sex. One shows a little boy watching.

He said the defendant told him “at least some of what he did” and “appeared to be bothered by what he had done.” Robeson said he felt the defendant had some remorse and that his confession should be considered. He said based on his investigation, the defendant is a “child molester” and that such people they should be kept away from their victim pool — children. He said the only way to do that is put him in prison for “as long as we can.”

Ms. Brock said that during the interview, the defendant downplayed what he did and that some of his answers were not credible.

Rebecca Cunio, forensic examiner, interviewed the victim and said the boy appeared ashamed when talking about the sexual abuse. The boy told her his dad began molesting him when he was 9 and that the last occurrence was the week before the interview.

“I’m scared of him,” he said on the videotaped interview shown to the jurors.

Ms. Cunio said if the abuse happened nearly every night he was with him during that time frame, then it happened more than 100 times.

The victim’s fifth-grade teacher said the boy — a friendly, excellent student — began telling her he didn’t want to stay with his dad anymore. One Monday, after she told her students to write what they had done over the weekend in a journal, the boy came up to her shaking and said he couldn’t do it. She pulled him into the hall, where he said “I can’t take this anymore” and told her his father had molested him. She said she reported it to authorities.

Since then, the boy is very happy, she said.

Dr. Gayle Burress, a licensed counselor, said the boy will be impacted by the abuse “for the rest of his life, every time he goes through a developmental stage.”

CLOSING ARGUMENTS

“Nobody knew for a long time that every night … he had to know he (the victim) was going home to that monster (the defendant) … his own dad, who’s supposed to take care of him,” Assistant District Attorney Guy Conine told the jurors.

He said the defendant dished out a life sentence to his son and that the jurors should remove him from the streets for as long as they could. The boy “needs to know his dad is out of his life forever.”

Defense attorney Zach Davis said his client should and would be punished for what he did but that the jury must consider his confession and guilty plea. He asked the jury to assess a fair and just sentence and said the defendant would have to serve every day of his prison term because there is no parole.

“He pleaded guilty knowing he’d be 57 years old, bare minimum, before he sniffed the free world again,” Davis said.

“He is sorry for what he did,” he said. He “will accept whatever you think is right.”

Assistant District Attorney Jason Parrish said even if the defendant was 50 to 80 years old when he was released from prison, 50- to 80-year-old men molest children. He asked the jury to make sure he doesn’t do it again and asked him to sentence him to life.“He didn’t show that little boy any mercy. Y’all don’t show him any mercy,” Parrish said.

Jessica’s Law, which went into effect Sept. 1, 2007, is named for Jessica Lunsford, a Florida girl who was abducted and killed in 2005. More than a dozen states have passed versions of Jessica’s Law, which created harsher punishment for sexual abuse crimes.

Published in: on March 5, 2009 at 2:29 am  Leave a Comment  

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