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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Texas man gets 4,060 years in prison

WEATHERFORD, Texas - A man was sentenced to more than 4,000 years in prison Wednesday for sexually assaulting three teenage girls over two years.

A day after finding James Kevin Pope guilty, jurors sentenced him to 40 life prison terms - one for each sex assault conviction - and 20 years for each of the three sexual performance of a child convictions.

At the request of prosecutors, state District Judge Graham Quisenberry ordered Pope to serve the sentences consecutively, adding up to 4,060 years. He will be eligible for parole in the year 3209, according to the Parker County District Attorney's Office.

"We believe it was a just result," prosecutor Robert DuBoise said, adding that he was "overwhelmed" with the judge's decision to stack the sentences.

Pope, 43, of Springtown, abused the girls for nearly two years. It came to authorities' attention earlier this year after Pope made several inappropriate comments to a friend, who notified Child Protective Services.

During the trial, the teens testified about the abuse, and their sexually explicit photographs were shown as evidence.

But Rick Alley, Pope's defense lawyer, told jurors in closing arguments that the victims were incapable of understanding what happened, the Weatherford Democrat reported in its Wednesday online edition.

"If it was as traumatic as they indicate, they would be able to give you (specific dates and times of the incidents). Simply because it's shocking doesn't make it true," Alley said.

During the sentencing phase of the trial, a U.S. Secret Service agent testified that while examining Pope's home computer, he found more than 200 images of child porn. [Mark Godsey]

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