Appeals Court Upholds Conviction In Child Sex Assault Case

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WACO (July 4, 2014) A McLennan County man found guilty of aggravated sexual assault of a child and indecency with a child had his appeal rejected Thursday by the 10th Court of Appeals.

Keith Allen Jones, 59, was convicted March 8, 2013 of one count of aggravated sexual assault of a child and two counts of indecency with a child in 54th District Court.

At the same trial he was acquitted of a second count of aggravated sexual assault of a child, court records show.

The jury sentenced him to serve a 29-year sentence on the sexual assault and two 9-year sentences on the indecencies, which Judge Matt Johnson ordered to be served consecutively.

At the time of the conviction there was some controversy about the jury’s decision because one witnesses for Jones told the judge that jurors had acted improperly during the trial by talking among themselves and sharing notes with each other.

Jones’ lawyer argued that was grounds to grant him a new trial.

But Johnson disagreed and denied the motion.

Court documents show the incidents happened both at a vacation residence in South Padre Island and at a residence in Waco.

Testimony during trial showed the child, who was 4-years-old at the time, made an outcry to her mother and then later explained the abuse during a forensic interview with the Child Advocacy Center.

In his appeal, Jones said the initial outcry was too vague to indicate a specific offense and that later testimony from both the mother and the child was not reliable.

In the court’s decision, however, the justices disagreed, saying the child’s outcry to her mother met the state standard of an “outcry witness” and that based upon the forensic interview, additional testimony from both the mother and the child was reliable.

The appeals court overruled both issues on appeal and affirmed the trial court’s rulings.