DA on 1997 sexual assault victim: 'She finally got the justice she deserves'
Athens, Texas (KETK) — A victim is finally getting the justice she deserves after she was sexually abused 17 years ago.
On May 29, Judge Carter Tarrance of the 392nd District Court sentenced Thomas Lane Boyd 20 years in prison on two charges. Boyd plead guilty to both accusations, indecency with a child and prohibited sexual contact, according to the Henderson County District Attorney. The sentences were the maximum allowed under law.
The conviction for prohibited sexual contact stems from a 1997 interview of a 13-year-old-child who claimed Boyd had sexually abused her. The case was investigated, but closed after the girl’s mother filed an affidavit of non-prosecution. Boyd pleaded guilty to having a sexual relationship with the girl, now an adult, as recently as 2012.
The indecency with a child charge developed from a 2012 outcry made by a four-year-old girl. The child told her mother Boyd bought her a “Tinkerbelle” costume from Wal-Mart and took her to eat at McDonalds. After leaving the fast-food restaurant, Boyd sexually abused the child.
Judge Carter Tarrance heard evidence from the mother of the young child, who testified as to the devastation caused by the sexual abuse and the counseling her child needed. The defendant also had previous convictions of arson and numerous other crimes, said prosecutors.
District Attorney Scott McKee said he was pleased with the sentences handed down.
“I have no idea why this case was dropped in 1997," said McKee. “This victim had to wait too long for justice, but I am glad she finally got the justice she deserves.”