The 6th District Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld convictions in two Bowie County cases decided by juries last year.
Todd Peck, 52, was convicted in September 2018 of the continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14 and sentenced to life in prison. Because Texas law does not allow for parole from any sentence for continuous sexual abuse, Peck will spend the rest of his life in prison.
At Peck’s trial, the jury heard from five different women and girls who were repeatedly abused by Peck. They ranged in age from 14 to 24.
Peck singled out vulnerable girls with unstable home lives to victimize and encouraged them to bring other girls to his home. At trial, First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp and Assistant District Attorney Lauren Richards argued that Peck is one of the worst sexual predators ever prosecuted in the county.
The entire jury signed the verdict form assessing Peck’s life sentence even though the document required only the foreman’s signature.
Peck’s appellate lawyer filed a brief with the appellate court indicating there were no issues that would allow for a new trial. The higher court agreed and affirmed Peck’s conviction and sentence Wednesday.
The 6th also affirmed Wednesday the conviction and 40-year sentence a jury gave Brandon Lee Harrison, 32, in August 2018.
Harrison was found guilty of raping his children’s mother at knifepoint after breaking into her home and waiting for her. Harrison was angry she was ending their relationship.
On appeal, Harrison argued that the jury shouldn’t have heard testimony from other women about his penchant for sexually aggressive and harassing behavior. Harrison also objected to the testimony of a woman who claims Harrison raped her on prison property when Harrison was her supervisor at the Barry Telford Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in New Boston, Texas.
The 6th Court of Appeals rejected that argument, pointing out that Harrison’s defense at trial was that the victim was fabricating her account in hopes of gaining financially if Harrison went to prison. Because Harrison claimed the victim lied, the state was allowed to elicit testimony of Harrison’s other bad acts.
Harrison must serve half of his sentence before he is eligible for parole and when he is released, he must register as a sex offender.