BELTON (October 2, 2013)--Former Nolanville Mayor Charlie Lee Stewart, who was accused of repeatedly raping a 12-year-old girl, was convicted of continuous sexual abuse of a child Wednesday.
Jurors started deliberations at around 2:25 and returned the verdict before 3 p.m.
Stewart faces a possible sentence of 25 years to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The judge will determine the sentence on Nov. 5.
Stewart, 59, was arrested on July 20, 2012 and charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child, sexual assault of a child and continuous sexual abuse of a child following an investigation that started on June 28, 2012, after Scott & White Hospital contacted Nolanville police about a child sexual assault victim, authorities said.
The girl, who was 12 at the time the sexual assaults began in 2011 at Stewart's home, told both her mother and a forensic interviewer from the Children's Advocacy Center that Stewart "inserted his penis into her vagina several times beginning in the summer of 2011."
Several women testified during the trial that Stewart also sexually assaulted them when they were girls.
Stewart testified Wednesday morning that the prosecution witnesses all lied and “are mental.”
In closing arguments Stewart’s attorney, John Galligan, also challenged the credibility of the prosecution witnesses, but Assistant District Attorney Shelly Strimple told jurors, “It has to stop. There can’t be any more victims.”
"(Stewart) has a sick sexual desire for children. He molested without fear of being caught. And not a darn thing has been done,” she said.
Stewart was sworn in as mayor of Nolanville in May 2010.
He was ousted on Sept. 7, 2012 after missing three consecutive City Council meetings.