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Jury Makes Example of Child Predator

SAN JACINTO COUNTY, TX– He was a registered sex offender long before she was even born, and old enough to be her grandfather when he offered a young girl a ride and sexually assaulted her. On Thursday, 61-year-old Gary Lynn Ellis, of New Waverly, learned he will now be in prison for the rest of his life, thanks to jurors in the 411th District Court of Judge Wells in Coldspring. The jury found Ellis guilty of one count of Sexual Assault of a Child, and one count of Indecency with a Child. Jurors then determined the appropriate punishment was life in prison for each charge, and the maximum fine of $10,000. Judge Wells made the life sentences consecutive rather than concurrent, ensuring Ellis would never again be free to prey upon unsuspecting victims.

The State called eight witnesses to testify regarding that fateful day in June 2022, when a 16-year-old girl was walking along FM 1097 and Gary Ellis offered her a ride to Livingston. The troubled teen was alone and had no cell phone or transportation, and southeast Texas is already hot and humid in June, and in a rural and sparsely populated county, mosquitoes are the only thing more plentiful than the pine trees.  Considering those factors, and a predator who pretended he wanted to help her, as he offered to take her where she needed to go, the victim was probably relieved when she climbed into the pickup with Ellis. That feeling was short-lived.

First Assistant District Attorney Rob Freyer and Assistant District Attorney-Precommit Alyssa Marshall, with SJC Criminal District Attorney Todd Dillon’s Office, prosecuted the case, presenting evidence about what first seemed to be a kind gesture by a much older stranger, but swiftly became a nightmare. The registered sex offender, more than 40 years older than the victim, took her to a remote area in the very rural San Jacinto County where he knew nobody would hear her scream, and nobody would stop him from sexually assaulting the girl inside his truck.

After raping the girl, Ellis dropped her off somewhere in Livingston and fled. The girl immediately contacted her mom. Fortunately, the victim’s mom took her to an emergency room. An experienced Forensic Nurse conducted a medical exam, which provided evidence of the assault, and the case was forwarded to Detective Sergeant Omar Sheikh with the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office for further investigation.

Forensic Interviewer Norma Carmona with Children’s Safe Harbor conducted an interview with the victim where she gave a detailed account of her story. Detective Sheikh soon obtained video and cell phone records that corroborated the victim’s story.

DNA evidence recovered from the medical examination verified the identity of the defendant as Gary Lynn Ellis. Further investigation revealed Ellis was a registered sex offender based of a 1986 conviction for Burglary with Intent to Commit Sexual Assault. In the intervening years, Ellis was also convicted of Failure to Comply with Sex Offender Registration and Possession of a Prohibited Weapon.

Freyer and Marshall noted that “this verdict once again underscores the notion that the citizens of San Jacinto County place the highest value on its most important and precious resource- our children. This jury’s verdict demonstrates that when individuals come here engage in the most egregious acts known to man, that if the State identifies the perpetrators and proves their guilt, that there will be nothing short of such hell to pay for such awful and disgusting conduct. Freyer and Marshall added “this was a 100 percent team effort. We applaud and commend the hard work and dedication of Sergeant Sheik, Analyst Solis, Interviewer Carmona, and the RN (who asked that her name not be published) in achieving such a well-deserved result. We look forward to working with them and those who share their dedication in order to ensure the integrity of victims and the complete safety of our community. Such conduct is not, and will not ever be, tolerated here.”

 

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