On September 11, 2018, Donald Payne, 49 of Willis, pleaded Guilty to Indecency with a Child in the 435th District Court in Montgomery County, Texas. Judge Patty Maginnis accepted the plea and sentenced Payne to Life in prison. Payne was charged with Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child and two counts of Indecency with a Child. In exchange for his plea, the other two charges were dismissed.
Payne, already a registered sex offender at the time of the offense, was accused of sexually abusing the three young daughters of his girlfriend. The case was investigated by Montgomery County Sheriff’s Detective Trey Gordy and prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Wesley LeRouax. Gordy and LeRouax are assigned to the Special Victims Unit located at Conroe’s child advocacy center, Children’s Safe Harbor. Children’s Safe Harbor is a non-profit organization that provides a single location to house the various agencies involved in the investigation of child sexual or physical abuse. Because of the hard work of Det. Gordy and forensic interviewer Kari Prihoda, the truth about what Payne did to the children was revealed.
This is not Payne’s first sexual offense. In 1993, Payne was sent to prison in Florida for Burglary of a Dwelling and Sexual Battery. Because of this prior conviction, Payne’s punishment range was enhanced to automatic life in prison with the possibility of parole after 35 years.
Assistant District Attorney Wesley LeRouax: “I am glad this case was resolved without the victims having to go through the ordeal of a trial. Everyone who worked on the investigation did a great job of building a strong case. The Montgomery County DA’s Office will continue to aggressively prosecute those who selfishly abuse children in Montgomery County.”