Charles Horton, Jr. Sentenced to 99 Years in Prison, LIVINGSTON, February 22, 2013 - A Polk County Jury handed down the maximum punishment of 99 years for the aggravated sexual assault of an eight year old girl. Prosecutor Lee Hon stated to the jury that this is a case that warrants maximum punishment and that Horton's victim has already received a life sentence for the sexual abuse that she suffered at the hands of Horton. On the contrary, Defense Attorney, Jim Keegan inisted that the minimum of 5 years be handed down to Horton. Keegan stressed to the jury that Horton had a family that was there to give him support and that Horton could be rehabilitated. After hearing both arguments, the jury handed down the maximum sentence of 99 years for aggravated sexual assault of a child, and 20 years for indecency with a child.
During puhishment hearings, Horton's sister-in-law took the witness stand and fought back tears as she told of how she once lived with her sister and Charles Horton. She testified that on several occasions she woke up in the middle of the night only to see Horton standing at the foot of her bed masturbating in front of her. She stated that she turned away from him and that he would leave. On another occasion, she stated that Horton sat down on a couch that she was laying on and put his hand on her butt and was feeling her. During her testimony, Horton looked incredulous and shook is head in disagreement and disbelief. During a brief recess, Judge Elizabeth Coker called Horton down and warned him to stop and that he was in a court of law. Judge Coker then ordered a deputy to sit behind Horton.
Charles Horton, Jr. at the Witness Stand...
Horton's lawyer, Jim Keegan called Horton to the witness stand. During cross examination by Prosecutor, Lee Hon, Horton denied the sexual assault charges, the indecency with a child charges, and the charges made by his sister-in-law of the strange behavior. Horton stated to Hon that he doesn't have sex with kids, especially his own.
Horton (now 37) will have to serve a minimum of 30 years before being eligible for parole.
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Charles Horton, Jr. (left) and his Attorney, Jim Keegan listen as District Judge, Elizabeth Coker reads the verdict of guilty that was handed down by a Polk County Jury.
Jury Finds Horton Guilty of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child, LIVINGSTON, Februray 22, 2013 - Closing arguments in the trial of Charles Edward Horton Jr. wrapped up Thursday afternoon. A Polk County Jury deliberated for about 2 hours before returning a verdict of guilty on one count of aggravated sexual assault of a child and one count of indecency with a child. Defense Attorney, Jim Keegan implored the jury of 12 to not find his client guilty citing the inconistency of the child's testimony. Keegan pointed out to the jury that the testimony of a 10 year old child was the only witness testimony that there was, and that the inconsisitencies as far as place and times of the abuse were enough for a reasonable doubt. Prosecutor, Polk County District Attorney, Lee Hon pointed out to the jury that Keegan was trying to hold a 10 year old girl's testimony to the same standard of that of an adult. Hon stated that while there have been some inconsistencies in her recollection of times and places, her testimony has been very consistent as far as what happened to her and the intricate details she spoke of. "A child's memory should be of good things." Hon stated, he continued, "If anything, she should be trying to forget such horrible things".
Horton kept his composure and stood silently as District Judge Elizabeth Coker read the verdict of Guilty. The punishment phase of the trial will be held on Friday. Horton is facing 5 to 99 years for the sexual assault charge, and 2 to 20 years for the indecency with a child charge.
Original Story Below
Polk County Criminal District Attorney, William Lee Hon addresses the jury in his closing arguments on February 21, 2013
37 year old Charles Edward Horton, Jr. listens to testimony in Judge Elizabeth Coker's District Court on February 20, 2013.
Local Man on Trial for Alleged Child Sex Crimes, LIVINGSTON, February 20, 2013 - A local man has been charged with three counts of sexual assault of a child and is on trial in Judge Elizabeth Coker's District Court. Prosecutor, Polk County District Attorney, William Lee Hon laid out his opening arguments to a 12 person jury stating that Charles Edward Horton, Jr., 37, of Livingston, is guilty of fondling, and penetrating the young female victim, who was eight years old at the time of the alleged misdeeds. The young girl cried out to her mother in September of 2011. Horton is alleged to have had sexual innercourse with the child on several occasions, fondled her, and forced her to perform oral sex on him. The young girl (now 10), took the witness stand and gave detailed accounts of the multiple times that Horton allegedly sexually assaulted her. One of the alleged assaults took place at Horton's girlfriend's house, and another at the grand mother's house. Horton and his wife was separated at the time (and still are separated). The child was interviewed by a forensics interviewer and a determination was made to further investigate and interview the alleged victim.
Horton's defense attorney, Jim Keegan, told the jury that the child's testimony is inconsistent and that there's no evidence of an eight year old girl being sexually assaulted by an adult male. The trial is expected to wrap up no later than Friday.
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