On Thursday, December 19, 77-year-old Eugene Raymond Barrett of Johnson City was found guilty of one count of Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Young Child and six counts of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Disabled Individual.
After three days of testimony, a Blanco County jury found Barrett guilty of sexually assaulting his mentally handicapped granddaughter between 2007 and 2010.
In October of 2010, the victim told school officials of the abuse, law enforcement was called, and the victim was removed from Barrett’s home. During the trial, the State presented evidence that she had lived with Barrett most of her life, and that they believed the abuse had begun sometime in the early 2000s.
Johnson City Police Chief Randy Holland began the initial investigation after the school reported the allegations. Barrett was indicted on the charges by a Blanco County grand jury in April of 2011.
After finding Barrett guilty on all seven counts, the jury handed down seven 25-year sentences; 33rd District Judge Allan Garrett then ordered that four of the sentences be run concurrently, and three be run consecutively, resulting in 75 years total imprisonment in state jail. Barrett will have to serve 50 years before he is eligible for parole.
In a press release, the attorney for the State, Assistant District Attorney Stacy Burke said, “Barrett was a true predator as he chose to prey on someone who was unable to defend or protect herself.” Burke further stated that she appreciated the difficult task the jury faced in listening to evidence of the repeated and continuous sexual acts described by the victim during her testimony.
District Attorney Wiley “Sonny” McAfee said this was the first time a case of Continuing Sexual Abuse of a Young Child had been tried in this district. The offense became law in 2007 and was designed to prosecute repeat offenders, whether the same victim is sexually assaulted or a different victim is involved in a continuing scheme of abuse. McAfee praised the jury for carefully following the evidence, determining this offense was continuous sexual abuse, and also finding that additional offenses occurred in the sexual assault of a disabled person.