Child molestor’s life sentence upheld

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A child predator who was sentenced last year to life in prison by a Bowie County jury was denied a new trial this week by a Texas appellate court.

Dennis Wolfenbarger, 49, was found guilty of aggravated sexual assault of a child under 6 years of age involving a young boy. The boy’s mother was involved with Wolfenbarger beginning when the boy was about 4 and began sexually and physically abusing him when he was approximately age 5, according to testimony at Wolfenbarger’s trial. The boy told the jury that Wolfenbarger first molested him when he was home sick from school and his mother was at work at a Texarkana business.

The boy testified that Wolfenbarger threatened to harm him and his mother if he ever told anyone about the misconduct.

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The jury sentenced Wolfenbarger to life in prison after hearing testimony concerning prior criminal conduct, including sexual assaults involving women. Texas law does not provide for parole from any sentence received for aggravated sexual assault of a child under age 6. That means Wolfenbarger is serving life without parole.

First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp and Assistant District Attorney Lauren Richards, who prosecuted the case together, praised the young victim and expressed gratitude to the 6th District Court of Appeals for the opinion upholding Wolfenbarger’s conviction and sentence.

Wolfenbarger is currently being held in the Estelle Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in Huntsville, Texas.

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