Wood Co. man receives 2 life sentences for 'years of sexual abus - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Wood Co. man receives 2 life sentences for 'years of sexual abuse' against little girls

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William Jason Pugh (Source: Facebook) William Jason Pugh (Source: Facebook)
William Jason Pugh mug shot. (Source: Wood Co. jail) William Jason Pugh mug shot. (Source: Wood Co. jail)

According to the Wood County Criminal District Attorney's office, a jury handed down two life sentences for Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child to William Jason "Pooh" Pugh on Wednesday. State District Judge G. Timothy Boswell presided.

Jury selection began April 7, 2014, the DA says, and the victim told the jury "horrific details" about Pugh, whom she called Uncle Bill, sexually assaulting her twice. As the trial unfolded, two other victims came forward and described sexual acts they say Pugh committed against them. One child detailed four years of abuse, the DA says, while the other described four different assaults. The jury returned its guilty verdicts in less than one hour, finding William Jason "Pooh" Pugh guilty.

Punishment testimony from a Wood Co. corrections officer indicated that during the defendant's incarceration, he had pornography smuggled into the jail. Additional testimony from clinical neuropsychologist Dr. Gary Mears made clear that Pugh's victims will suffer effects stemming from the defendant's abuse for the rest of their lives. Mears also testified that pedophilia is a lifelong condition and that the sole means of preventing its recurrence is to remove the pedophile from society.

During closing argument, Lead prosecutor Joey Fenlaw said, "What William Pugh did was give them a life sentence," referring to the children. "That's what I'm going to ask you to do: Give him a life sentence."

Assistant District Attorney Angela Converse argued, "I ask you to send a message that when perpetrators like this defendant violate the innocence of little girls, we will not stand for it!"

Finally, Fenlaw and Converse illustrated for the jury the courage needed for the victims to enter a courtroom and describe what Pugh had done. the jury deliberated only 25 minutes before returning two life sentences.

From a press release from Jim Wheeler, the Criminal DA for Wood County, thanked Sheriff Jim Brown and Kyle Henson of the Wood County Sheriff’s Office, as well as Martha Dykes of the Northeast Texas Child Advocacy Center, for their diligence and professionalism in the investigation.

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