Former Texarkana Prison Employee Pleads Guilty to Child Sex Abuse Charges

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On April 6, 2020, in Cass County, Texas, Christopher Allen Wooding, 44, a former employee of the Federal Correctional Institution, Texarkana, pleaded guilty to the charge of Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child. In exchange for his plea of guilty, the Cass County Criminal District Attorney, Courtney Shelton, recommended 25 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, without the possibility of parole. Judge Bill Miller of the 5th Judicial District Court sentenced Wooding in accordance with the plea agreement.

On February 3, 2020, the child, who was a teenager at the time, made an outcry to a family friend that Wooding had been sexually assaulting her since she was in middle school.

During a forensic interview, conducted on February 4, 2020 at the Texarkana Children’s Advocacy Center, the child stated the abuse began on Super Bowl Sunday in 2016, when Wooding touched her inappropriately on top of her clothing. Later that night, Wooding provided her with an alcoholic drink and told her come outside with him. He then touched her genitals under her clothing.

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The child stated this happened several more times over the next few weeks, but without the alcohol. Eventually, she was forced to engage in other sex acts with him. On several occasions, she would catch him outside her bathroom window taking pictures of her with his cell phone while she was naked in the shower.
During the interview, the child was able to recall and describe two specific incidents where she was forced to have sex with Wooding. On one occasion, he took her to his bedroom and put her on the bed and told her not to make a sound, while forcing himself on her. On another occasion, he had sex with her at the lake while her family was present.

The child also advised that she had previously made an outcry about the abuse to a family member, Jessica Wooding. The child stated that Jessica Wooding told her that if they were to report the abuse, it would wreck their lives.

Based on this information, Sabrina Sartor, an investigator with the Cass County Sheriff’s Department, obtained a search warrant for the Wooding residence. At that location she was able to locate a number of electronic devices, including at least five covert recording devices, one of which was disguised to look like a smoke detector.

These electronic devices were brought to the Cass County Criminal District Attorney’s Office Cyber Crime Lab where they were examined. In those devices, video footage that Wooding recorded outside of the bathroom depicting the child in the bathroom was located. Other video was located in which Wooding was recording his wife using the bathroom. Other inappropriate videos were located in which Wooding would follow young girls around local stores and video them.

Jessica Elaine Wooding, a former employee of the Telford unit and relative of the child, is charged with Endangering a Child. Her charges are still pending at this time.

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