Man sentenced to life without parole for sexual abuse of young boy

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NEW BOSTON, Texas: A Bowie County jury sentenced a local man to life without parole for sexually abusing the son of a former girlfriend.

Dennis Michael Wolfenbarger Jr., 48, lived with the boy and his mother at a residence in New Boston in 2009 and 2010. One day when the boy, then age 4 or 5, was home sick from school, Wolfenbarger woke him and physically and sexually abused the child.

Physical and sexual assaults continued until Wolfenbarger’s relationship with the child’s mother ended. The boy testfied he did not tell of the abuse until years later because Wolfenbarger threatened he would kill him and his mother if he did.

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The boy, now 13, reported the abuse in November 2016. Two women testified during the trial that they were sexually assaulted by Wolfenbarger as well.

Assistant District Attorneys Lauren Richards and Kelley Crisp asked the jury to punish Wolfenbarger harshly. Both prosecutors remarked on the bravery of the young boy and the hard work of the Bowie County Sheriff’s Office.

The jury of four women and eight men found Wolfenbarger guilty of aggravated sexual assault of a child under 6 years. The offense is punishable by 25 to 99 years or life in prison and defendants convicted of the offense are not eligible for parole.

Wolfenbarger had been free on bond at the time of his trial. He was taken into custody Wednesday after being found guilty.

Wolfenbarger was represented by the Bowie County Public Defenders Office. Fifth District Judge Bill Miller presided over the case.

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