WACO, TX (KWTX) – A former Waco street department officer who sexually assaulted an 11-year-old family member nearly seven years ago was sentenced Tuesday to 37 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
A jury in Waco’s 19th District Court deliberated for about four hours before convicting Damien Tyrone Adkison of one count of aggravated sexual assault of a child and one count of indecency with a child by contact. A jury acquitted Adkison of a second count of indecency with a child, which involved sexual intercourse in a different manner than the one on which the jury found Adkison guilty.
The jury of nine women and three men deliberated for about two hours before deciding on a sentence for Adkison, who faces five to 99 years or life in prison on the aggravated assault charge. Jurors recommended five years in prison on the indecency count, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years, to run concurrently with 37 years.
Adkison, 35, must serve credit for at least half of his 37-year sentence before he can be considered for parole.
A family member of Adkison, who is now 18 and a high school senior, testified Monday that Adkison sexually assaulted her in 2016 while her younger sister slept in another bed in a room at a home on Spring Street. .
Adkison, who did not testify in either phase of the trial, denied the charges, while her attorney, Darren Obenoski, told jurors that the girl made up the allegations, which she later abandoned Adkison’s sister because she was a troubled teenager who disliked him. was living conditions.
In defense testimony Tuesday, Amber Toliver, Adkison’s wife, said she and Adkison have eight children and described him as a caring and loving father.
He told jurors that on the night of the sexual assault, he and Adkison had friends over to watch an NBA basketball game and play dominoes. She said that after their friends left, she and Adkison stayed up all night and did not go to sleep.
On cross-examination, prosecutor Will Hicks noted that Toliver told a Child Protective Services investigator that he and Adkison slept between 3 and 6 a.m. that morning. Toliver said he did not remember telling the detective that, and reiterated that they stayed up all night and that Adkison did not assault the girl.
“It’s very important to the story that you’re not sleeping because you’re now providing him with his alibi,” Hicks said. “So it’s very important that you tell the truth.”
In summing up the jury Tuesday, prosecutor Tara Avants reminded jurors that the girl wrote a note to a school counselor the morning after the attack and underwent a medical exam that revealed lacerations, lacerations and other evidence of sexual assault. He also said CPS investigators had determined there was “reason to believe” that sexual assault had occurred.
Avants told jurors that Adkison’s harassment of the victim and his “sexual deviance” showed he had no hope of recovery.
“He will carry this with him for the rest of his life,” Avants said. “She’s healing and growing up, she’s about to graduate from high school, but this will always be a part of her.”
Obenoskey told the jury that Adkison was not a predatory pedophile who preyed on children in public.
“He’s just a working father who made a serious mistake,” Obenoskey said. “We do not agree with your sentence. We are disappointed, but we accept it.”
McLennan County District Attorney Josh Tetens said the jury’s verdict sends a message to the community.
“We want the jury to send a message to our community that those who cause harm will be held accountable,” Tetens said. “We would also like to thank everyone who helped prosecute this case, but especially the victim who had the courage to come forward.”
Obenoskey declined to comment after the hearing.
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