A Waco man who sexually abused five children over a 15-year period was sentenced to 45 years in prison without parole on Monday.
Judge Ralph Strother of Waco’s 19th State District Court took a brief recess to consider if he wanted to accept the plea agreement offered to 30-year-old machinist Cody Demar Gant, but emerged to say he reluctantly would do so.
Gant pleaded guilty to two charges of continuous sexual abuse of a young child and three charges of indecency with a child by contact, including one that included five counts. His five victims range in age from 3 to 16, said Lacy Lakeview Police Department Detective Kevin Carter.
In accordance with the plea bargain, Strother sentenced Gant to concurrent 45-year terms with no parole on the two continuous sexual abuse of a young child charges, as well as and 20 years each on the indecency charges.
Those charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child are not eligible for parole. When Strother balked initially at accepting the plea bargain, prosecutor Will Hix assured him that Gant would be at least 75 years old before he could be released and that the plea agreement spares Gant’s victims the rigors of trials.
“Well, I’m 76 and I’m still moving around all right,” the judge said.
Hix praised Carter and Sgt. Jason Higgins for their work on the case.
“We could not have obtained justice for our survivors in this case without the tireless efforts of so many in the law enforcement and children’s advocacy communities,” Hix said. “A special level of appreciation goes out to the detectives at Lacy Lakeview who made this resolution possible. Nothing could ever excuse the acts committed by this defendant, but this chapter has finally been closed for the families and now hopefully the healing process can begin.”
Carter said other victims came forward after the first of Gant’s victims reported the abuse, some of which dated back 15 years. The victims were children of Gant’s friends or acquaintances from five different families, Carter said.
The mother of one of the victims, Gant’s former girlfriend, said she will never forgive him for what he did.
“I hope you have 45 years to sit and think about what you did,” she said. “I didn’t do anything but love you. But you hurt my family and I’ll never forgive you for that.”