Sweeney sentenced to 42 years for crimes

Nov. 10—Colin Sweeney was sentenced in the 278th District Court on Oct. 24, following guilty pleas for Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child and Possession with Intent to Promote Child Pornography. Sweeney, 53, was sentenced pursuant to a plea agreement to 42 years confinement in TDCJ for the Continuous Abuse charge, which is required by law to be served day for day with no possibility of parole.

Will Durham, Walker County District Attorney, said he was also sentenced to the maximum 20 years in prison for the Promotion of Child Pornography charge. The defendant also plead guilty to 26 counts of promotion of child pornography, which were taken into consideration as part of the sentence.

"The sentence ensures that Sweeney will remain in prison well into his nineties, and protects the young victim from being re-traumatized by having to testify in a trial against him," Durham said. "The State is providing resources and victim services, including therapeutic assistance and counseling services, to help the young victim recover from the trauma sustained."

"The case began with a tip to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services that Sweeney had offered the five-year-old victim online to another for sexual purposes. This tip was immediately forwarded to law enforcement and Huntsville Police Detective Keith Sarraf responded to Sweeney's residence and observed him with a young child present," said Durham.

Sweeney confirmed he had sent the message, and Det. Sarraf obtained a warrant for his arrest. The defendant has been confined in the Walker County Jail since Feb. 8, 2022. A search of Sweeney's phone yielded numerous images and videos of Sweeney engaged in sex acts with the victim, beginning when the victim was only four years old.

"There were many agencies that worked tirelessly to get justice in this case, including the Huntsville Police Department, Walker County Sheriff's Office, Montgomery County District Attorney Internet Crimes Against Children investigators, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Children's Safe Harbor, and the Walker County District Attorney's Office Victim Assistance Coordinator Beth Malak. This conviction could not have been accomplished without their efforts, and it is truly an honor to work alongside such dedicated professionals who work on these incredibly difficult and heinous cases," said 278th District Court Trial Prosecutor Phil Faseler.

"There is nothing worse than a sexual predator like the defendant who targets the most innocent and vulnerable — our children. This lengthy day for day prison sentence will ensure that this monster never harms another child while protecting the young victim from ever seeing him again," said Durham.

Contact Brenda Poe at editor@itemonline.com