Conroe, Texas October 17, 2013 – John Robert Manning, age 45, was found guilty by a jury of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child and Indecency with a Child and subsequently sentenced by the jury to Life in prison for Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child and to the maximum 20 year sentence for Indecency of a Child. Upon motion by the State, the Judge cumulated the sentences which means that the Defendant must fully serve his Life sentence before being eligible to begin his 20 year sentence.
The Defendant was charged with Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child. During the trial, the thirteen year old child testified that the Defendant had sexually abused her on multiple occasions. The jury also heard testimony of a three year old who had told her mom that the Defendant exposed himself to her. At punishment, the jury heard testimony relating to three other incidents involving inappropriate sexual contact by the Defendant with others.
The case was handled by Assistant District Attorneys, Cindy Pulcher and Nancy Hebert with the SVU, Crimes Against Children Division and lead Detective Todd Hoff with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office’s SVU, Crimes Against Children Division. Nikki Neeley, an Investigator for the Montgomery County D.A.’s office, worked with the U.S. Marshalls to capture Manning who had eluded law enforcement for three months after learning about the arrest warrant. In addition to the testimony of the child, ADA Pulcher put on testimony from Det. Hoff and Sr. Sgt. J. D. Thomas, also with the Sheriff’s Office, that the Defendant admitted to the sexual contact. However, at trial, the Defendant took the witness stand and denied the sexual contact. “Today, the jury showed by their verdict that the children of Montgomery County will be protected by their fellow citizens,” said Pulcher. “The efforts of all involved, including Children’s Safe Harbor, Detective Hoff, Sr. Sgt. Thomas, Inv. Neeley, and CPS Investigator Joe Chebert, demonstrate their dedication to the safety of the children. However, the real hero in this case is the child who found the courage to tell about the abuse and face Manning at trial.”