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Liberty County jury sends message to Child Molesters

June 3, 2011–A Liberty County jury and a Liberty County District Judge have recently made it unmistakably clear that child molestation will not be tolerated in Liberty County. Utilizing a relatively new law known as Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child, the Office of District Attorney Mike Little recently completed successful prosecutions of two defendants charged with this crime in Liberty County.
One defendant, Thomas Darrell Cross, Jr., was tried before a jury in the 75th District Court before presiding Judge Mark Morefield during the week of May 16, 2011. Cross was sentenced by the jury to 60 years in prison without parole.
The other defendant, Dean Coleman Brown, was also tried in the 75th District Court before Judge Morefield. On June 2, 2011, Judge Morefield sentenced Brown to Life in prison without any possibility of parole.
Thomas Darrell Cross, Jr., 30 years of age, from Cleveland, Texas, was indicted by a Liberty County Grand Jury for Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child, Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child, and Indecency With a Child. The indictment alleged that Cross sexually abused a female child under the age of 14 during the latter part of 2008.
Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child is a relatively new law which took effect on September 1, 2007. Its enactment was meant to provide extra punishment for individuals who sexually abuse a child or children over a time period of 30 days or more. Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child carries a minimum prison term of 25 years in prison with a maximum possible punishment of 99 years or Life in prison. This crime not only carries a minimum sentence of 25 years but the law also provides that any sentence must be served without any possibility of parole. In other words, the sentence is served day for day without any possibility of early release.
Dean Coleman Brown, 41 years of age, of Dayton, Texas, was also indicted by a Liberty County Grand Jury for Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child. Brown was charged with sexually abusing a female child under the age of 14 on more than one occasion. It was alleged in the indictment that Brown committed these acts over a period of approximately one year beginning in July of 2009. During the sentencing hearing, it was proven by the State that Dean Coleman Brown had been previously convicted of possession of cocaine and failure to comply with sex offender registration in Harris County, Texas. The evidence also revealed that Brown had been previously convicted of child molestation in Florida.
“These two very lengthy sentences send an extremely clear message to child molesters that they will be dealt with very sternly in Liberty County. The offense of Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child has been an extremely effective tool in punishing child molesters and hopefully deterring would-be child molesters from engaging in such disgusting conduct,” said Liberty County District Attorney Mike Little.