A Fort Bend County jury took less than an hour to convict Gary Paul Kirkman for the crime of continuous sexual abuse of young child or children after a weeklong trial that ended on July 30.
The 38-year old Sugar Land man was arrested and charged in 2014 after one of his victims revealed the abuse and the Sugar Land Police Department conducted an investigation. A punishment hearing is scheduled for Oct. 5 at 9 a.m. in the 400th District Court.
According to Assistant District Attorney Lisa Gregg, Kirkman began sexually abusing one of his victims in 2007, when the victim was approximately 6 years old, and continued until October 2013. During that time frame, the defendant committed many types of sexual abuse against the victim, which included aggravated sexual assault of a child and indecency with a child. While Kirkman was sexually abusing the child, he also physically abused her in order to exert physical control over her. There were times when Kirkman would promise to stop; however, he would eventually resume the sexual abuse.
As part of the investigation, Sugar Land Detective Kelly Gless discovered that there was a second victim – another female child. The sexual abuse that was committed against this child occurred when the child was approximately 9 years old. The child did not tell an adult about what Kirkman had done to her until she was 12 years old.
Gregg, lead prosecutor and a deputy chief in the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office stated, “The trials of child abuse cases are difficult for everyone involved. We know that testimony about sexual abuse is not easy for witnesses to provide or for a jury to hear. It is not easy for people to tell when someone has sexually abused them, and it is very emotional when the abuse occurred as a child. The child in this case was abused by someone she trusted; someone who was supposed to protect her. Too often children hide what is happening to them. We want children to know sexual abuse is never their fault, and there will be help when they come forward.”
Sherry Robinson, misdemeanor division chief in the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office, said “Listening to testimony in these cases is difficult, and the jury in this case listened carefully to all the evidence presented. This jury sent a strong message to child abuse victims as well as to sexual offenders that the citizens of Fort Bend County will not tolerate child abuse. Period. We are so proud of these young ladies and all of the children who come forward when they have been abused. They are all our heroes.”
Kirkman was tried in the 400th District Court before Presiding Judge Maggie Jaramillo. Continuous sexual abuse of a young child is a first-degree felony punishable by 25 to 99 years or life in prison, with no chance for parole. Attorneys David Kiatta and Lisa Gonzalez represented the defendant.