A Miller County, Ark., jury sentenced a 19-year-old man to a maximum term of 40 years in prison Thursday for sexually abusing an 8-year-old boy who lived a few blocks away from him.
Brian Lane Pond turned 18 in August 2017 and he sexually abused his victim during the summer of 2017. In Arkansas, defendants are considered adults at age 18. Because of this, Pond was eligible for a punishment of 25 to 40 years in prison after the jury convicted him of rape Thursday.
The victim, now 10, testified that he and Pond would ride bikes, play games and go fishing together. Pond sexually abused the boy in an RV parked behind the house where Pond lived with his mother and other adults.
The sexual abuse was reported to Cpl. Phillip Hardemon of the Miller County Sheriff’s Office in September 2017. M.C.S.O. Investigator Patsy DeHart arranged for the boy to meet with forensic interviewer Savannah Quinn at the Children’s Advocacy Center in Texarkana.
The jury convicted Pond of rape after approximately 30 minutes of deliberations. During the punishment phase of Pond’s trial, DeHart testified that she investigated Pond for sexual misconduct in 2014 when he was a juvenile.
In that case, Pond sexually assaulted an autistic classmate in a school bathroom stall. The mother of the victim in that case testified that her son acted out following the abuse and that she agreed to a plea to indecency with a child to spare her son the trauma of testifying and because she believed Pond, then in the 8th grade, needed help.
An official with Arkansas juvenile probation, Sheila Thomas, testified that Pond spent a year in Piney Ridge in a residential sex offender treatment program for juveniles. Pond did not return to school following his release from treatment, Pond’s mother testified.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorneys Kristian Robertson and Jeffery Sams asked the jury to sentence pond to the maximum. Sams told the jury that if Pond received a 40-year sentence he will be eligible for parole after 20 years because of his age at the time of the crime. If paroled after 20 years, Pond will be supervised by a parole officer for 20 years. He must also register as a sex offender.
Sams argued that sentencing Pond to the maximum will allow for supervision for the maximum amount of time.
Robertson argued that Pond, “earned 40 years in prison for raping those two boys.”
Pond was represented by Managing Public Defender Jason Mitchell and Assistant Public Defender Kristen Callahan.