Euless man convicted of sexual assault of a child

Posted Friday, Mar. 01, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

Topics: Euless, Texas

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This article includes graphic and explicit language.

FORT WORTH -- A Euless man who was sentenced Friday to 50 years in prison for continuous sexual assault of a child told police that he knows what he did was wrong and that he needs help to overcome his affliction.

Convicted sex offender Timothy Edward Whitington, 46, was previously convicted in federal court in May 2011 of producing child pornography and is just beginning to serve a 16-year sentence for that offense, said Eric Nickols, a Tarrant County prosecutor. A Tarrant County jury convicted Whitington a second time Friday.

During a taped interview shown to the jury Thursday, Whitington told Euless police Detective Todd Murphree that he and an 11-year-old relative sat on a couch and touched each other in a sexual way in 2010.

"All I wanted to do is enjoy a fantasy and pretend," Whitington said during the interview. "I didn't want to get into any trouble."

During the punishment phase of the trial Friday, the felon's father, David Whitington, senior pastor at Christ Our King Church in Southlake, testified that he suffered with his son through his federal conviction and is suffering with him again.

"The chats are terrible. I've had to read through them," David Whitington, 71, told the jury. "He admitted to me what he's admitted to over and over again. There were two instances of masturbation. He did admit to that. But he said he never had any attraction to kids. His attraction has always been, homosexually, to his peers who had children."

Excerpts from the chats, talks that prosecutors said Whitington had online with a man named Robert Hathaway in the United Kingdom, were read during Wednesday's testimony. The chats discussed children, nude pictures, masturbation, sexual organs and anal sex.

The chats "made me sick," David Whitington said. "Is it immoral? Yes. But if it's legal, it ought not to be punished. If it is illegal, it should."

One juror, who asked not to be identified because she fears retaliation, said jurors took an initial vote and most voted for 50 years. She said the jurors believed they needed to make a statement with the sentence. The case was extremely disturbing, she said.

"While we were all Christians, we were not moved by the throwing around of Bible verses during this trial," the juror said.

Whitington's defense attorneys, Randy Bowers and Stephanie Patten, argued during closing statements that their client was guilty of the lesser charge of indecency with a child, and they asked the jury to show mercy, saying Whitington should receive a short enough sentence so he would not die in prison.

"I recommend that they appeal this case, both the state and the federal verdicts," Bowers said.

But prosecutors Dale Smith and Nickols asked the jury to send Whitington to prison for the rest of his life so he will never have another opportunity to abuse a child.

"A verdict of indecency with a child will have this table giving each other high-fives," Nickols told the jury. And then Nickols reminded the jury that the boy, who is now 13, testified Wednesday that Whitington told people in computer chats how he planned to "plow" him when he got older.

Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752

Twitter: @mitchmitchel3

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