Conroe, Texas – On January 26, 2011, Judge Suzanne Stovall, sitting in the 221st District Court in Montgomery County, Texas, sentenced Eugene Lee Hunt to 25 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice after a jury found him guilty of continuously molesting a young girl from age eight to nine between 2007 and 2009.
Under this new statute, which the Texas Legislature enacted for offenses committed on or after September 1, 2007, a person who commits two or more acts of sexual abuse against a child 14 or younger and does so over a period of time that is 30 days or greater, the minimum punishment is 25 years in prison, with a maximum of 99 years or life. Prior to the enactment of the Continuous Sexual Abuse of Young Child or Children statute, the state was limited to prosecuting a defendant who committed similar offenses over a long period of time with separate counts of Indecency With a Child, which carries a punishment range of two to 20 years in prison.
Hunt, 72, of Conroe, was a friend of the victim’s mother and often babysat the young girl. According to the victim’s testimony, and the defendant’s own statements in a video taped interview conducted by Sgt. Jerry Thomas of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department, the young girls stayed at Hunt’s home approximately one to two times per month beginning in June of 2007. The last time Hunt saw the victim was February 19, 2009. Shortly after that date, the victim spoke out about the event to a school counselor, who contacted law enforcement. At trial, the victim testified that Hunt touched her vagina more than five times over the year-and-a-half period she stayed with Hunt, whom she referred to as “Uncle Gene.”
The jury deliberated for just under three hours before finding him guilty of the offense. Judge Stovall then sentenced him to 25 years. Hunt must serve the entire 25 years and is not eligible for parole.
“This defendant is a true pedophile and a danger to the community,” stated District Attorney Brett Ligon. “This new statute with its enhanced punishment and parole directives is a fantastic tool for locking these sick-minded and twisted individuals away for a long, long time. I appreciate the bravery of this young girl and the hard work of law enforcement. Without them we would not have seen justice in this case.”