Jury convicts ETX man for molestation of step daughter - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Jury convicts ETX man for molestation of step daughter

Jerry Whatley. (Source: Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office) Jerry Whatley. (Source: Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office)
VAN ZANDT COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -

A jury sentenced an East Texas man to decades behind bars for sexually assaulting his 10-year-old step daughter.

Jerry Don Whatley, a former Canton resident, was sentenced to 50 years in prison by a Van Zandt County Jury for the 2004 sexual assault.

Following his December 2005 indictment, the Van Zandt County District Attorney's Office says Whatley jumped bail and fled to Florida, where he was apprehended five years later, in January 2012, by U.S. Marshals and extradited back to Texas for trial.

Authorities say they believe Whatley used the alias David Sims to hide from law enforcement in Florida.

During her testimony, Whatley's stepdaughter, who's now 18, told the jury she loved, trusted, and considered Whatley to be her father. She says Whatley molested her on numerous occasions.

It took the jury only 45 minutes to convict Whatley on the charge.

Whatley is eligible for parole in 25 years, and will have to register as a sex offender.

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