New Boston, Texas–A 59-year-old man was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences Wednesday for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl who thought of him as a grandfather until Sept. 20, 2015.
Larry Thomas Webb was found guilty of two of four counts by a jury of six men and six women at the end of a single day of testimony Wednesday. Because Webb has a previous conviction for aggravated sexual assault of a child assessed him in 1981 in Dallas County, he received mandatory sentences of life for each of the offenses, aggravated sexual assault of a child and sexual indecency with a child by contact, for which he was convicted. Texas law requires a life sentence for defendants convicted of a second violent sex offense involving a child. The jury was not aware of Webb’s prior conviction.
Fifth District Judge Bill Miller ordered the life sentences to run consecutively. Webb, who had been free on bail, was taken into custody at the trial’s conclusion.
The victim, who is related to Webb by an older relative’s marriage, testified that she and her siblings thought of Webb as a grandfather and called him “Pops.”
The girl said she went to spend the night with Webb on Sept. 19, about a week after her 14th birthday, because she wanted to celebrate with him. The girl said that after she went to bed, a nude Webb climbed under the covers with her and told her to be quiet when she asked why he was naked. The girl said later Webb sexually assaulted her and then threatened to kill her and anyone she told about the attack.
“As a child you always look forward to your birthday. You count down the days and everyone celebrates it. There is cake and there is family,” Crisp said in closing arguments. “You know what the victim got for her birthday? She got raped.”
The girl testified that she called her mother from Webb’s home phone after he fell asleep following the assault. The girl’s mother told her to get help, which the victim sought from the house nearest Webb’s. The neighbor testified that her family was awakened by knocks on their home’s doors and windows after midnight Sept. 20, 2015. The neighbor said the girl at her door was frightened and hysterical.
Webb’s attorney, Butch Dunbar of Texarkana, argued the girl’s statements were inconsistent and that the case was full of reasonable doubt. Dunbar argued that epithelial, or skin, DNA belonging to Webb found in the girl’s panties and on her bra could have been left innocently. Richards argued that finding Webb’s DNA in the waistband and crotch area of the girl’s underwear supports the victim’s account of a sexual assault.
“He bought her a necklace, he took her to dinner and then he sexually assaulted her in every way possible,” Richards said in closing. “Then he threatened to kill her.”