A Bowie County jury handed down two life sentences plus 20 years for a Nash, Texas man whose sexual abuse of children began 15 years ago.
Fifth District Judge Bill Miller ordered that Demitres Coleman, 40, will serve the terms consecutivelyWednesday at the end of a one-day trial. Coleman was convicted of two counts of aggravated assault of a child and one count of indecency with a child by contact early Wednesday afternoon.
The jury of six men and six women found Coleman guilty of sexually abusing the daughter of a woman he was living with in 1999. The victim, who is now 25, testified she was 9 when Coleman began forcing himself on her. The victim testified she kept her secret until she learned in January of Coleman’s sexual abuse of other children.
A 23-year-old woman testified that Coleman assaulted her while dating and living with her mother in 2007, when she was 14. When the 23-year-old told a school counselor in 2007, law enforcement became involved. But the case was not pursued after the girl moved out of state. The 23-year-old testified her mother took Coleman’s side and treated her like a criminal.
“He took me to a place in life I never planned on being,” the 23-year-old testified. “At the time, I kept wondering, ‘Why me? What did I do?’”
A 15-year-old girl told the jury Coleman was dating and living with her mother when Coleman assaulted her in January. The teen said she locked herself in a bathroom and called her mother, who contacted police. Assistant District Attorneys Kelley Crisp and Lauren Richards praised the teen and her mother for their actions. Richards and Crisp asked the jury to put Coleman in a place where he cannot prey on single women and their young daughters.
“What do you have to do to get life in Bowie County,” Crisp asked the jury. “How many children do you have to rape?”
Richards described Coleman as a sexual predator.
“All three of those victims are going to have to deal with this for the rest of their lives,” Richards argued. “Make him do the same.”
The charges against Coleman concerning the 23-year-old woman and 15-year-old girl are still pending in Bowie County.