A Wichita County jury gave the maximum prison sentence Monday to a convicted sex offender who molested a 10-year-old boy left alone with him for home schooling.
A jury of eight men and four women took just under 25 minutes to decide Nelson Christopher Head, 52, should serve two life terms in prison and pay two $1,000 fines for child sexual assault.
Seventy-eighth District Judge Meredith Kennedy stacked Head's sentences.
Wichita County Chief Felony Prosecutor Dobie Kosub said he is proud of the now 14-year-old boy who took the stand to testify against Head.
"Today, it was a day of triumph for that young man," Kosub said Monday.
The teenager testified last week about "the thing" — the ordeal he went through Dec. 1, 2016, in the apartment he shared with his mother and Head, who was her boyfriend.
The teenager, diagnosed as on the autism spectrum around then, did not want to talk about the sexual assaults he suffered but told the jury he knew he had to.
Jurors heard unsettling details about Head and the boy's mother.
Evidence came out during the trial that his mom gave him up less than a month after Head was arrested for sexually abusing her son, and then she turned around and married Head, Kosub said.
"That didn't sit very well with the jury," Kosub said.
“They're still married," he said. "She also vowed on the stand that she would never believe the jury no matter what they decide."
The boy went from foster home to foster home for the next four years, but he no longer lives in Wichita Falls and has found happiness with a family who may adopt him.
Kosub said the jury was not going to tolerate poor treatment of children or put up with "silly games or a defendant that would tell untruths, fabricate or deceive the jury.”
Jurors "absolutely rejected that, and they let him know," Kosub said.
Head told multiple stories that didn't match what his wife said when she testified about their routines at home and who had access to the child, Kosub said.
Everything fell apart for Head and his wife, but the boy had been consistent since his very first account, Kosub said.
Kosub said he has been a prosecutor several years but has never encountered someone like the 14-year-old.
Before Friday's guilty verdict, the teenager told Kosub that he was content because he knew the truth and he knew what happened.
The boy told Kosub that, "He wasn't going to be bothered by the stories they were telling.”
Kosub said the Wichita County District Attorney's Office has had five of "these horrendous situations" — child sexual assault trials — since August.
"We had the maximum sentences in four of those five," Kosub said.
"I hate that we have to try these cases because that means they're here in our county and our community, but I'm very proud of what our office has done since we've come back from COVID," Kosub said.
Head was being held Monday in Wichita County Jail.
The jury found him guilty Friday of two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child after less than 15 minutes of deliberation.
His bail was revoked and he was taken into custody Friday, court filings show.
Head's appearance changed dramatically from his arrest in October 2017 until he had his day in court in a trial that began Nov. 29 with jury selection and lasted about six days. His hair had gone snow white, and he had grown a long, white beard.
TRN reached out Monday afternoon to court-appointed defense attorney Rick Mahler for comment.
Check back with www.timesrecordnews.com for more on this developing story.
Trish Choate, enterprise watchdog reporter for the Times Record News, covers education, courts, breaking news, politics and more. Contact Trish with news tips at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her Twitter handle is @Trishapedia.
This article originally appeared on Wichita Falls Times Record News: Head sentenced to life in prison for child sexual assault