A Waco man was convicted Wednesday of sexually abusing two young family members and forcing them to perform sex acts on each other while he watched.
Jurors in Waco’s 54th State District Court deliberated about 90 minutes before convicting Billy Joe King, 48, on two counts of continuous sexual abuse of a child.
Prosecutors Sydney Tuggle and Will Hix asked the jury to assess life sentences for each count. Jurors deliberated King’s punishment for about 45 minutes before telling Judge Matt Johnson they were tired and wanted to resume deliberations Thursday morning.
King faces a minimum of 25 years in prison and up to life without parole on the two counts.
The two family members, one a 14-year-old girl and the other a 16-year-old boy, each testified that King sexually abused them for two to three years. The boy was first abused when he was 6, the girl was first abused when she was 9, and King also made them perform sex acts with each other while he watched, they said.
The girl testified she reported the abuse on at least three occasions to King’s wife, Monica Renee King, but she sided with King and did nothing.
Monica King, who is serving a 20-month sentence for endangering a child for failing to report the abuse, testified the girl showed her pages from her diary in which she wrote about the sexual abuse. Monica King said she ripped the pages from the diary and threw them away.
Waco attorney Alan Bennett, who defended Billy King with attorney Jessi Freud, asked jurors to consider a sentence of 40 years.
Tuggle, however, countered that the level of King’s offences are elevated by his choice of victims of both sexes who were his family members, and that he deserves the maximum penalty. At least two women on the jury dabbed at tears as Tuggle delivered her closing statements.
“You will never forget these children and you will never forget their faces,” Tuggle said. “End this nightmare for them.”
The jury will resume deliberations at 9 a.m. Thursday.