TYLER (TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - A Tyler man convicted of sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl he was babysitting one year ago was given five life sentences to be served consecutively by Judge Christi Kennedy in the 114th District Court.
In her opening statements to the jury on Tuesday, prosecutor Whitney Tharpe said the defendant abused the child when her mother, who worked nights as a certified nursing assistant, was asleep. When the girl's mother asked her if something had happened to her, the child told her what Williams had allegedly done. "Mom became very angry," Ms. Tharpe said. She added that the girl stopped talking when she saw how upset her mother was.
Prosecutor Jacob Putnam served as co-counsel with Ms. Tharpe.
Defense attorney Brent Ratekin told the jury to only consider the evidence they heard from the witness stand and to take into account all the evidence as they deliberated. "It sounds bad. I won't sugarcoat it," Ratekin said during his opening arguments Tuesday.
The mother told jurors that she did not immediately go to the authorities when the child reported the abuse and waited for one week, which she said she knew was wrong.