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Brownwood doctor takes plea deal in child sex assault

FORT WORTH -- A Brownwood doctor whose child sexual assault trial ended with a deadlocked jury five weeks ago was sentenced to eight years' probation Thursday after pleading guilty to the 2000 assault on an 8-year-old girl.

Donald Delmar Pope, who faced possible life in prison if convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a child, instead received deferred adjudication. That means he will have no felony conviction if he completes his eight years probation.

However, he still will have to register as a sex offender, receive sex offender counseling and stay away from areas with children, under agreed probation terms imposed by visiting Magistrate Gene Grant.

Pope declined to comment after the brief plea hearing in Criminal District Court No. 4. His attorney, Mark Daniel, said the plea was “a fair resolution to the case.”

Prosecutor Bill Vassar said the victim’s family was pleased with the outcome of the case.

“The only thing they ever wanted was for him to stand up in court and take responsibility for being a child molester,” Vassar said.