NEW BOSTON, Texas—A Texarkana man who turned down a plea offer of three years Monday was found guilty of indecency with a child Wednesday and sentenced to a maximum 20-year term.
Shaquyl Blackwell, 23, was convicted and sentenced following a single day of testimony Wednesday by a jury of seven women and five men who were selected Tuesday to decide the case. At his final pretrial hearing Monday before 202nd District Judge John Tidwell, Blackwell rejected the state's offer to plead guilty and accept a three-year sentence.
In addition to serving 20 years, Blackwell was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine. He must register as a sex offender upon release from prison.
Blackwell had access to the girl, then 11, while she was visiting an aunt at a Texarkana, Texas, apartment complex Dec. 11, 2016, according to a probable cause affidavit used to create the following account. The girl made an outcry regarding the abuse to her mother, who in turn contacted police. In an interview conducted at the Texarkana Children's Advocacy Center, the girl described being groped and inappropriately touched by Blackwell. The girl said that after she endured the unwanted contact, Blackwell told her, "You're still a virgin."
"We are proud that our 12-year-old victim was able to walk into the courtroom and tell the jury exactly how Blackwell molested her," said First Assistant District Attorney Mike Shepherd, who prosecuted the case with Assistant District Attorney Katie Carter.
"This sentence is a proper response to his criminal behavior," Shepherd said.
Blackwell was represented by the Bowie County Public Defenders Office.