A Palo Pinto County jury convicted Steven Matthew Carroll, 32, of Mineral Wells, of aggravated sexual assault of a child and sentenced him to 99 years in prison and assessed a $10,000 fine.
After hearing evidence Tuesday and Wednesday last week, the seven-man, five-woman, jury deliberated just 12 minutes before finding Carroll guilty of the first-degree felony offense, reported District Attorney Michael Burns.
Because the child was under the age of 6 at the time of the offense, the minimum sentence allowable for the crime was 25 years and no parole is allowed.
The trial involved an incident that occurred in early September 2011 at Carroll's residence in Mineral Wells.
Witnesses testified that Carroll was the biological father of the child. Later that month, the child reported to other family members that Carroll had engaged in sexual relations with her.
Jurors heard testimony from, among others, the child's grandmother, a sexual assault nurse examiner, from Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth, and from Dr. Denise Boots, an associate professor of criminology at the University of Texas at Dallas.
"I am pleased that the jury appreciated the seriousness of the conduct associated with this offense," Burns said after the trial. "Sexual abuse of children is always a concern and a high priority in my office
"We will continue to vigorously prosecute those who prey upon the most vulnerable and innocent members of our community - our children.
Because no parole is allowed for this crime, Carroll must serve the full number of years assessed by the jury.