Man accused of sexually abusing teen and her two younger siblings is found guilty on lesser charge
WACO, Texas (KWTX) - BREAKING: A jury deliberated about three hours before finding De’Shawn Lamare Horne, charged with sexually abusing a teenager and her two younger siblings, guilty of a lesser-included offense of indecency with a child by contact.
Horne was sentenced 10 years in prison. He will have to serve half his sentence before he is eligible for parole.
The man was originally charged with continuous sexual abuse of young children charge, a first-degree felony punishable by a minimum of 25 years in prison without parole and up to life in prison without parole.
A teenager testified Tuesday that De’Shawn Lamare Horne sexually abused her and her two younger siblings while they were living with relatives in Hewitt and Woodway.
Horne, 23, is on trial in Waco’s 19th State District Court on a continuous sexual abuse of young children charge, a first-degree felony punishable by a minimum of 25 years in prison without parole and up to life in prison without parole.
Horne is charged in the indictment with sexually abusing two young female family members and one boy beginning when they were 12, 8 and 6, respectively, from January 2016 through December 2018.
Horne’s attorney, Brian Pollard, told jurors in opening statements Tuesday morning that the children’s parents have been in and out of prison and that their father caused them tremendous psychological and emotional trauma. He said Children Protective Services workers removed the children from their parents’ care and custody and placed them with other relatives. It was at those relatives’ homes on Hunters Run in Woodway and Keswick Drive in Hewitt that one of the alleged victims, now 18, testified that Horne sexually abused her on multiple occasions.
Pollard told the jury that the children’s father took them to live in Georgia in August 2017 and “manipulated” them into making the sexual abuse allegations.
“No matter what these children say, the timing of this thing is very, very suspicious,” Pollard said.
The alleged victim testified that as many as 13 family members lived in the same house from time to time after they were placed in the custody of relatives. She said she looked up to her older relatives, including Horne, and wanted to “hang out” with them in their rooms.
She told jurors that she liked to play Xbox video games in Horne’s room, but the price to play the game was having to touch Horne inappropriately.
“It takes two hands to play Xbox,” she said. “Unfortunately, I was not able to use two hands because De’Shawn would grab my hand and put it on his ... "
She also said Horne sexually assaulted her on a trampoline in the back yard of the Hunters Run residence. She said she didn’t report the trampoline incident to investigators in Georgia or Hewitt because she didn’t think anything would come from it.
She said she likely would not have reported the abuse if she hadn’t found out that it happened to her younger brother and sister.
“Honestly, had it been just me, I might not have told anybody,” she said.
In other prosecution testimony, Hewitt Police Sgt. Stuart Cooper said he got a call from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia to report the sexual abuse outcries of the three siblings. The three underwent forensic interviews in Georgia.
Katrina Harley, the former executive director of the Task Force on Family Violence in Douglasville, Ga., testified remotely Tuesday about how forensic interviews with children are conducted and said all three children made sexual abuse outcries against Horne.
Prosecutors Tara Avants and Liz Buice will continue calling prosecution witnesses on Wednesday.
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