FORT WORTH — A judge sentenced a man to 50 years in prison Friday for using nude pictures of a 15-year-old girl to blackmail her into having sex with him multiple times.Thomas Jefferson Smallwood, 49, faced a life sentence after his conviction Thursday on six counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and three counts of sexual assault of a child. Smallwood elected to have state District Judge George Gallagher assess his punishment.Gallagher sentenced Smallwood to 50 years on each count of aggravated sexual assault of a child and 20 years on each count of sexual assault of a child. The sentences will run simultaneously.Smallwood used the alias “Jay-lo” to trick the girl into befriending him and sending him nude pictures of herself. Then he blackmailed her into having sex with him. The two began “sexting” by using a picture-sharing application on her cellphone, according to testimony this week.Smallwood, acting as Jay-lo, insisted that the teen have sex with him and make videotapes of the act, according to testimony. If she refused, Jay-lo would send the photos to friends, neighbors, classmates and her mother. The teen eventually realized that Jay-lo and Smallwood were the same person, prosecutors said.The teen told the jury that she had sex with Smallwood up to 14 times before she confided in her mother and her mother’s best friend that she was being sexually abused.
Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752 Twitter: @mitchmitchel3