reports that 29 year-old Thomas Boden plead guilty on August 25th to a charge of injury to a child causing serious bodily injury.  Boden received 10 years deferred adjudication.  He was not convicted of a crime but rather plead guilty to a lesser charge.  As the late Paul Harvey would have said, now, the rest of the story.

Boden avoided what should have been a life sentence in the brutal sexual assault of a 2 year-old girl.  If he completes a 10 year  probation sentence he avoids conviction.  The San Antonio Express reports that San Angelo police officers responded to a domestic disturbance at the victim's mother's residence on January 1.  Boden and the victim's mother were dating at the time of the attack.  The names of the victim and her mother have not been released for obvious reasons.

The story from the San Antonio Express continues:

While the mother changed the victim's diaper, she "observed a large amount of blood in the diaper she was wearing" and found another diaper and several wipes containing blood. The mother wrote in a Facebook post that her daughter told her, "Tom hurt me with his hand."

"I ran outside screaming and crying, pushed past several cops and asked Thomas if he touches my daughter," the mother wrote. "He didn't say a word, but had a slight grin on his face."

A Tom Green County grand jury indicted Boden on April 6 on a charge of aggravated sexual assault of a child and indecency with a child by sexual contact, both punishable by up to life in prison.  However, the aggravated sexual assault charge was dropped.

Why you ask would they drop the charge when physical evidence clearly exists to support the charge?  The Tom Green County DA's office justification for this move is that the only witnesses were the 2 year-old victim and a 4 year-old child.  Assistant DA Jason Ferguson told The San Antonio Express News:

Judges in Texas must be convinced that a child is able to "intelligently observe" and remember events, "adequately tell the jury about the events" and "understand the moral obligation of telling the truth," Ferguson said.

"The possibility of one or both of these children being unable to testify was extremely high, if not a certainty," Ferguson said. "If that were to happen, we faced the very real possibility that the defendant would be found not guilty and simply go home with no consequences. That was something we could not risk."

Ferguson continued, "This plea allowed us to secure an admission of guilt from the defendant, keep him from contacting the victim or her family, remove any chance of him being found not guilty, and allowed us to keep an extremely young child from having to tell her story to a group of strangers, if allowed to testify at all, and be subject to cross examination from a skilled defense attorney."

In addition to his far too generous probation, Boden will face a fine of up to $2,500 and 320 hours of community service.  It's not unusual in Texas to see persons charged with minor drug possession to face fines many times that amount and prison sentences of multiple years, if not decades.

Sources: San Antonio Express, KXVA




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