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story.lead_photo.caption Quartshezz Lewis

NEW BOSTON, Texas — A man who was sentenced Friday to 60 years in prison for the continuous sexual abuse of a child will be around 90 before he is released.

A Bowie County jury found Quartshezz Lewis, 31, guilty of the continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14 on Wednesday. Thursday morning they heard testimony concerning the punishment Lewis should receive for abusing a 6-year-old girl.

"In addition to assaulting strangers, he attacks his babies' mother and he rapes kids," First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp argued in closing remarks Thursday. "This is who we are dealing with here."

Continuous sexual abuse of a child is among the most serious offenses under Texas law. It is punishable by 25 to 99 years or life in prison and there is no parole possible from any sentence imposed. With credit for time he served in jail waiting for his case to go to trial, Lewis will be roughly 90 years of age when his term is served.

The jury heard testimony Thursday from local mechanic Steven Davis who said Lewis attacked him at his place of business after being told that the starter on a car was no longer covered by warranty and had likely lasted only a year because of after-market stereo equipment being improperly connected to the battery.

Bowie County District Attorney Investigator Aaron Ragland testified that Lewis was arrested in Texarkana, Arkansas, for allegedly stabbing a man who was in a dating relationship with the mother of his children. Lewis has not been convicted of any related crime.

Assistant District Attorney Lauren Richards urged the jury to consider what their verdict will say to the victim and another girl who testified Wednesday that she was also sexually abused by Lewis as a young girl.

"What is (the victim's) innocence worth? She's going to live out the rest of her life as a victim," Richards argued. "Tell those little girls how proud you are of them for being brave and coming forward and finally coming into the light and telling what happened. Tell victims that if you are brave enough to tell about the worst thing that has happened to you we will take care of you."

The two girls who testified against Lewis did not know each other but gave similar accounts of his misconduct. Richards and Crisp asked the jury to send a message to other would-be predators that such behavior will not be tolerated in Bowie County.

Richards and Crisp thanked the jury for their service.

Texarkana lawyer Jeff Harrelson told the jury that he understands the difficulty inherent in determining punishment for such a serious crime.

"The easier task is to determine what happened. The harder decision sometimes is what to do about it," Harrelson said.

Lewis will be held in the Bowie County jail until he is transported to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

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