In the midst of all the recent reports about serial sexual predators being exposed in politics and the media, one thing that has stood out is that few if any of them seem to be held accountable for what could be criminal acts, save being embarrassed on the national stage or losing a career.
But a lack of accountability for serial sexually predatory behavior isn’t a problem in Texas — at least not in Hays County, where a man was just given a sentence of more than 1,000 years in prison for continuously sexually abusing two young girls.
WOAI reported that a San Marcos man, 39-year-old Robert Benjamin Franks, was convicted Monday of continually abusing two young female family member, and was punished by two life sentences in prison plus 1,000 years for a host of other charges.
One of the girls reportedly told her father that Franks would do “disgusting things” to her, such as spank her and then force her to perform sex acts.
A second girl related to the first came forward with a similar claim, which was further reinforced by a third related victim — now an adult — who asserted that Franks had done the same to her when she was the same age as the other two, around 10 years old.
Franks was convicted and given two life sentences for the two counts of continuous sexual abuse. In addition, the jury sentenced him to 99 years each on nine counts of aggravated sexual assault, plus 20 years each on six counts of indecency with a child.
According to KEYE, Franks was also sentenced to pay a total of $120,000 in fines, and Judge Jack Robinson ordered his numerous sentences be served consecutively instead of concurrently, meaning he will remain in prison until he is dead — and will never be free to sexually assault children again.
“Words cannot really express the depth of the betrayal and outrage warranted by conduct like this, committed by a man who should have been caring for and protecting these children,” stated Hays County District Attorney Wes Mau, KEYE reported.
“The jury’s sentence speaks more eloquently than I can to make clear how our community feels about crimes like these,” he added.
KXAN reported that court documents revealed that Franks had begun abusing at least one of the girls when she was only 5, abuse that reportedly occurred upwards of three to four times per week for nearly five years.
Once the trial had concluded on Monday, jurors needed only an hour of deliberation to reach a guilty verdict on all 17 counts, and took only an additional two hours of deliberation to decide upon the punishment for his despicable crimes.
“When these kinds of cases occur, there is no room for leniency,” Mau stated. “These kinds of predators have to be treated with the harshest of consequences.”
“I think it sends a message to anyone else out in the community who might be thinking about doing a crime like this that jurors, at least in Hays County, have no tolerance for this kind of behavior,” he added.
This 1,000-plus year sentence certainly did send a message, one that hopefully has been heard loud and clear by sexual predators all across the country, as well as one that will hopefully be adopted by prosecutors, judges and juries in other states all across the country:
This sort of vile behavior will not be tolerated.
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