Appeals court upholds convictions of sex offender, child buyer Jason Carlile

·4 min read

An appeals court affirmed the child rape convictions of Jason Wayne Carlile of Wichita Falls on Wednesday.

The Fort Worth Court of Appeals unanimously upheld Carlile's eight convictions, according to a media release from the Wichita County District Attorney's Office and court records.

"We will continue the fight to uphold these sentences and keep this dangerous predator behind bars for life," Wichita County DA John Gillespie said in the media release. "Hopefully, this opinion will give his victims some peace."

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The decision from the appeals court invalidates defense attorneys' unusual approach to virtually stay silent during Carlile's trial and stage no defense on his behalf.

A jury of seven men and five women convicted Carlile, 50, on Dec. 11, 2019, in 78th District Court of two counts of aggravated sexual assault and six counts of sexual assault of a minor involving two girls.

Carlile was sentenced to life in prison Dec. 12, 2019. Judge Barney Fudge, now retired from the 78th District Court, ordered his sentences stacked.

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Carlile’s attorneys, hired with funds from his mother's lottery winnings, sought to delay the trial.

Carlile was out on bail, thanks to a $15.25 million jackpot split by his mother, Joann Ames, and her soon-to-be ex-husband, the late Floyd Ames.

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When Fudge denied the third continuance requested by a defense team led by attorney Heather Barbieri of Plano, Carlile's lawyers told the judge they were unprepared for trial and refused to participate in it, according to court records.

Defense attorneys said they would be intentionally ineffective so the higher court would be forced to reverse the case.

Jason Wayne Carlile, center, listens as attorneys question potential jurors in the 30th district courtroom as shown by this Dec. 4, 2019, file photo.
Jason Wayne Carlile, center, listens as attorneys question potential jurors in the 30th district courtroom as shown by this Dec. 4, 2019, file photo.

In his appeal, Carlile contends he was denied his constitutional rights to a fair trial and effective attorneys because they didn't mount a defense for him.

He argued that his defense lawyers didn't even "fog a mirror" during his trial, according to court records.

But the Fort Worth Court of Appeals rejected this argument, noting it was an intentional strategy and Carlile had agreed to it.

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“We are so thankful that the Court of Appeals saw through the Defense’s ridiculous strategy and affirmed this conviction,” Gillespie said.

“Carlile is a dangerous sexual predator who is locked up where he can never harm another child," Gillespie said.

He said the criminal justice system would "grind to a halt if attorneys could just refuse to participate when they get an adverse ruling or as a strategy to keep a defendant out on bond."

Gillespie said Carlile's attorneys had every opportunity to take part in the trial and were advised by the judge to participate.

“But they chose not to call any witnesses or otherwise engage in the trial," he said.

“I am so proud of the work our team did in locking him up and in making sure this case stood up on appeal," Gillespie said.

More: Prosecutor in Carlile case: 'You see the trauma ... on the faces of the victims'

Child sexual assault defendant Jason Wayne Carlile directs his attention to the gallery during his trial in 78th District Court as shown in this Dec. 11, 2019, file photo.
Child sexual assault defendant Jason Wayne Carlile directs his attention to the gallery during his trial in 78th District Court as shown in this Dec. 11, 2019, file photo.

Carlile can seek a review by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, but such review is discretionary and the CCA only agrees to review a small percentage of cases where review is sought, according to the DA's Office media release.

The Times Record News reached out to Carlile's defense attorneys Wednesday afternoon for comment.

During the trial, four women told the jury Carlile sexually victimized them when they were underage, including a soft-spoken teenager who testified about sexual abuse she suffered as his foster daughter from the age of two months to 4 years old.

More: Before he became a registered sex offender, Carlile was a foster parent in Wichita Falls

More: Timeline for Jason Wayne Carlile

Carlile was convicted of six counts of sexual assault of a family friend, beginning when she was 14, for incidents on Feb. 13, 2006; Feb. 15, 2006; June 4, 2006; and June 11, 2006. More than one sexual assault happened on some days.

He was also convicted of two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a relative when she was under 14 in connection with incidents July 1, 2000, and May 5, 2005.

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Trish Choate, enterprise watchdog reporter for the Times Record News, covers education, courts, breaking news, politics and more. Contact Trish with news tips at tchoate@gannett.com. Her Twitter handle is @Trishapedia.

This article originally appeared on Wichita Falls Times Record News: Sex offender Jason Carlile's convictions upheld

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