Weatherford News

Judge gives sex offender 20 years in prison

A 32-year-old Army veteran who talked to and texted an eighth-grader for more than a year before having sex with her was sentenced to the maximum of 20 years in prison.

Defendant William Bruce Senn Jr. of Springtown was the girl’s stepfather’s best friend, said prosecutor Jeff Swain.

Senn pleaded guilty in January to two counts of sexual assault of a child and three counts of possession of child pornography; he elected to have state District Judge Craig Towson assess his sentence, said Swain, who prosecuted the case.

Senn was sentenced to 20 years in prison Jan. 28 for each sexual assault conviction and 10 years on each possession charge. The sentences will run concurrently.

He has been in the Parker County Jail since his arrest in November 2013.

“Mr. Senn’s wife caught him texting with the victim, discussing having sex with her and confronted him about the inappropriate texts,” Swain said. “That should have been a wake-up call for him, but instead, he got another phone, kept contacting the victim, and eventually had sex with her.”

The girl, now 16, testified that Senn grew closer to her over the course of a year, culminating in an exchange of nude pictures at the beginning of the 2013 school year. In September 2013, Senn and the girl had sex twice, and she told a teacher in October 2013. Senn was arrested in November 2013, Swain said.

“This was a classic case of a defendant grooming a victim,” Swain said. “He manipulated her over the course of a year to regard increasingly sexual conversation and physical contact as acceptable.”

The girl testified that she has been in counseling for psychological problems, and has had trouble eating and sleeping, Swain said. The offense has harmed her relationship with her mother and caused her to lose friends, Swain said. She lives in a shelter for teens.

Senn’s attorney argued at trial that his client should receive some sentencing consideration because of his military service and presented evidence that Senn received veterans benefits related to post-traumatic stress disorder, Swain said.

Senn will be eligible for parole in 2023, when he has served half the sentence. If released, he will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, Swain said.

Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752

Twitter: @mitchmitchel3