The parents of a teen boy sexually molested by the mother of a friend agree to a 25-year prison sentence Friday at a hearing in Texarkana.
Kimberly Elaine Mitchell, 37, sobbed as 102nd District Judge Bobby Lockhart sentenced her to two 25-year terms for aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14 and to one 20-year term for second degree sexual assault of a child. Mitchell will serve the terms concurrently.
“Once you walk through that door your life is going to change drastically,” Lockhart said. “You won’t be buying any prom dresses, you won’t get to see your kid graduate from high school, you’ll miss dozens of Fourth of Julys, birthdays and holidays.”
Lockhart said he agreed to take the plea to spare the young victim the trauma of testifying. The boy would have testified about the day Mitchell came to his house while his parents and siblings were at work and school and he was home sick. The victim was sexually assaulted in his own home.
The boy would have been asked about Mitchell picking him up and taking him to a local motel where she abused him. Text messages which show the way Mitchell groomed the boy and planned her assaults of him would have been addressed during the victim’s testimony as well.
Before the hearing began, Lockhart spoke to the parents of the boy and confirmed their consent for the plea agreement. The parents, obviously overcome with emotion, asked that Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp read their victim impact statement as Mitchell, her teen daughter and her husband listened.
“We just want you to know that by taking advantage of our 13-year-old child, a child who had been your 12-year-old child’s elementary school crush, you have changed lives in a way that should never happen to anyone,” Crisp read. “You lied and manipulated a child your daughter’s age until you were able to do disgusting vile things to him.”
The parents lament that two of their other children have moved away to live with relatives because they don’t want to face teasing in school or risk running into Mitchell. The statement spoke of a loss of feeling safe in their own home and the loss of valuable family time that should have included good memories but instead has been filled with pain, shock, and trauma.
After the hearing, Crisp spoke of the state’s decision to offer Mitchell the 25-year plea offer rather than let a jury decide a punishment between five to 99 years or life in prison.
“Sadly, Kimberly Mitchell engaged in a pattern of grooming and exploitation of this young boy,” Crisp said. “Her obsession and determination overcame the victim’s parent’s efforts to protect him. The resolution achieved in this agreement shields this boy and his family from the stress of trial.”
Early in the hearing, Mitchell gave a self-serving speech during which she claimed never to have meant to hurt anyone and begged the parents for forgiveness.
But the parents’ statement made it clear they are not ready for that.
“We pray we will one day be able to forgive. Today is not that day,” the parents’ statement said. “You think about your husband and your daughter at home mourning because you did this to them.”
Mitchell must serve at least half her sentence before she can be considered for parole.