The former police chief of a Texas city will serve three years in prison after pleading on child molestation charges. The 63-year-old man was convicted on 10 counts of indecency with a child, with six other sexual assault counts that were dropped following a plea deal. Prosecutors contend the crimes occurred between 2001 and 2004, but the alleged victim only recently came forward with her claims. The suspect will receive credit for 307 days served in a county jail as he awaited trial, meaning that his effective remaining prison term is just over two years.
Sexual assault, molestation and other sex crimes carry heavy penalties in Texas. While a sexual assault charge can have a substantial sentence of large fines and many years in a correctional facility, it also will damage the accused person's reputation and could have adverse effects on their family. The loss of their income and conviction together could cause difficulty for the rest of their household in terms of insurance coverage, credit accounts and also emotional stress.
The severity of these sentences make it important for anyone charged with such crimes in Texas to immediately seek the counsel of a qualified criminal defense attorney. This is the best way for such individuals to ensure their rights are properly protected in court.
A representative for the county district attorney's office told reporters that cases in which the alleged offense occurred several years in the past can be difficult to pursue. While the victim said she had hoped to see the suspect sentenced to life in prison, she claimed she was glad that she would not have to endure a long trial. Prosecutors reportedly met with the victim to secure her approval for the plea deal they ultimately offered to the suspect.
Sources: Dallas News, "Former Sulphur Springs police chief gets 3 years in Collin County child molestation case," Matthew Watkins, Oct. 30, 2012