A 48-year-old Waco man convicted of sexually abusing two family members and forcing them to perform sex acts on each other will spend the rest of his life in prison.

Jurors in Waco’s 54th State District Court in the case of Billy Joe King returned a punishment verdict of 99 years for each of two counts of continuous sexual abuse of a child.

The jury found the 48-year-old King guilty on Wednesday, then spent about two hours Wednesday and Thursday deliberating punishment. Defendants convicted of continuous sexual abuse of a child are not eligible for parole, meaning barring a successful appeal, King will die in prison.

Prosecutors Sydney Tuggle and Will Hix asked the jury to assess life sentences for each count.

“We know how difficult this case was to listen to and be a part of, and we are so thankful for this jury, who ensured that there will be no more victims at the hands of this perpetrator,” Tuggle said. “We feel an enormous amount of gratitude to the jurors for all the thought they put into this verdict. Thank you to everyone who worked on and contributed to bringing this man to justice. We can’t wait to see how these survivors continue to grow from their past into their incredibly bright futures.”

The victims, a 14-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy, each testified that King sexually abused them for two to three years. King first abused the boy when he was 6, while the girl was first abused when she was 9. King also made them perform sex acts with each other while he watched, they said.

Some of the abuse occurred while they were living in Marlin, while other incidents happened at King’s McKenzie Avenue home, they said.

The girl reported the abuse on at least three occasions to King’s wife, Monica Renee King, but she sided with King and did nothing to stop it, the girl testified.

Monica King is serving a 20-month sentence for endangering a child for failing to report the abuse. She testified the girl showed her pages from her diary that detailed the sexual abuse and she ripped the pages from the journal and threw them away.

Waco attorney Alan Bennett, who defended Billy King with attorney Jessi Freud, told jurors Wednesday that 40-year sentences would be appropriate.

“We appreciate the jury’s attention and thoughtful consideration of all the evidence,” Bennett said after the four-day trial.

Staff writer at the Waco Tribune-Herald covering courts and criminal justice. Follow me on Twitter @TSpoonFeed.

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