AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — A Randall County jury sentenced John Lee Thompson to life in prison Thursday on four counts of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child and two counts of Indecency with a Child.
The trial began on March 2, 2020, and after three days of witnesses and testimony, which included the victim bravely testifying, the jury found the defendant guilty of all charges.
The Randall County District Attorney release reports Thompson agreed to help raise the child of a woman who had been sent to prison. Soon after, he began sexually abusing the child. This pattern of sexual abuse continued throughout this young child’s life and although there were people who attempted to help, they were unable to prove anything and the child remained with him. At the age of five, the child was attending a licensed daycare when one of the teachers, who had been to training at the Bridge Child Advocacy Center, found some sexualized behavior of the child troubling. The teacher appropriately asked preliminary questions to determine what, if anything, was happening. When the child disclosed this pattern of sexual abuse, it was immediately reported to Child Protective Services and the child was taken to the Bridge to be interviewed and receive medical treatment. The child never had to have contact with the defendant again.
After the case was initially investigated and presented for prosecution by the Special Victim Unit at the Amarillo Police Department, the Randall County District Attorney’s office continued to investigate after the indictment. They were able to uncover additional child victims of the defendant. One such victim, who is now an adult, flew to Amarillo from another state to testify at the trial.
After the trial concluded, the sentencing hearing was conducted. The defendant elected for the jury to decide his punishment. After a short hearing, the jury returned a sentence of Life without the possibility of parole on the 4 counts of Aggravated Sexual Assault and Life on the two counts of Indecency with a Child. Both sentences are the maximum sentence allowed under the law.
District Attorney Robert Love said, “This case highlights cooperation between our office, the Amarillo Police Department, Child Protective Services, Sexual Assault Forensic Nurses, the victim’s therapist, The Bridge Children’s Advocacy Center and daycare providers who worked together to protect this child. Although child sexual abuse is tragic, we are grateful to live and work in a community that works together to assist our most vulnerable victims.”
The child has since been adopted, is in counseling and is doing well in school and at home.
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