Sexual abuse defendant receives double life sentence

Hays County District Attorney Wes Mau who prosecuted the case. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE HAYS COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY OFFICE

By: 
Staff Reports

 

Robert Benjamin Franks, 39, of San Marcos was convicted of Continuous Sexual Abuse, Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child, and Indecency with a Child, arising from a pattern of sexual abuse against two separate children committed over a period of years. After a sentencing hearing, the jury sentenced Franks to two life sentences plus over 1,000 years in prison.

According to the testimony at trial, in June 2016, Franks’ 9-year-old girl stepdaughter, identified in court papers by her initials, told her father that Franks was doing “disgusting things” to her while she was in Franks’ home.

Although the first victim’s 10-year-old stepsister originally denied any sexual contact with Franks, when she was taken to a Sexual Assault Nursing Examiner for an examination, she also said that Franks had been systematically sexually abusing her for years.

Trial began the week before Thanksgiving, on November 13, and continued through Monday, November 20, at which time the jury was charged to begin deliberations on November 27, the Monday after the holiday. The jury deliberated for about an hour before delivering their verdict of guilty on all seventeen counts.

Franks was sentenced to life on both counts of Continuous Sexual Abuse, 99 years on each of the nine counts of Aggravated Sexual Assault, and 20 years in each of the six counts of Indecency with a Child. The jury also assessed a total of $120,000 in fines. Presiding Judge Jack Robison pronounced that the sentences would be served consecutively.

Hays County District Attorney Wes Mau and Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Stalbaum prosecuted the case. Both Mau and Stalbaum recognized the work of Ashlie Martin of the Bridge Children’s Advocacy Center, Vanessa Paulini of Roxanne’s House Children Advocacy Center, and Detective Mike Andrews of the Hays County Sheriff’s Department, for their work on the case.

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