Victoria man sentenced to 40 years for child sex abuse charge
Oct. 30, 2012 at 5:30 a.m.
Updated Oct. 31, 2012 at 5:31 a.m.
A Victoria man was sentenced to 40 years in prison Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to continuously sexually abusing an 8-year-old girl.
The victim's mother found Keith Allen Parker, 33, lying on top of the girl on Feb. 10, Assistant District Attorney Elí Garza said.
"The mom noticed the living room light and TV were not on, and that was unusual," Garza said. "She confronted him and asked him what he was doing, and he said he didn't know."
Garza said Parker's story then evolved. First, he said he was just kissing her. Then, he admitted to having sex with her.
They lived with Parker on and off until an aunt from San Angelo notified police and Child Protective Services on Feb. 17. Parker turned himself in.
Defense attorney Jerry Clark declined to comment about the case.
A jury for Parker's trial was picked on Monday, but he changed his plea from not guilty to guilty.
Garza said he thinks that's because Parker was hoping to mitigate the punishment, which, in this case, ranges from 25 years to life in prison without parole.
"He is a coward, and he didn't want to face a jury of his peers," he said.
"The little girl testified that she repeatedly told him to stop. ... She couldn't breathe," Garza said of Parker's about 6-foot-tall, 185-pound frame. "These cases are difficult because the child has to relive the bad memories. She's a hero."
During the 4 p.m. hearing with Judge Robert C. Cheshire presiding, Parker wore "Bandit," an electronic stun restraint hidden beneath his clothing that can shock him if he misbehaves, Garza said.
The sheriff's office decided Parker should be fitted with it after he told a friend or family member during a jail phone call that he wished someone would put a hit on Garza.
That audio was admitted into evidence.