A Weatherford man accused of molesting a special needs teenager has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Tracy Dean Jones, 31, was also convicted of possessing child pornography.
Jones pleaded guilty last week in Weatherford to indecency with a child and eight counts of possession of child pornography.
District Judge Graham Quisenberry sentenced Jones to 20 years on the indecency charge and 10 years on each of the child porn charges, to be served concurrently. Jones will not be eligible for parole until 2028.
“This was a difficult, complex case,” Parker County Assistant District Attorney Jeff Swain said in a news release. “On the indecency with a child case, our victim was a special needs child, which presents challenges that are obvious when you are looking at going to trial.”
Swain also pointed out that Jones did not download the child porn onto any devices seized by authorities.
“Instead, what he did was to set up a dropbox account online into which he deposited quite a number of images and videos of child pornography,” Swain said. “He had these digital files cataloged into folders by topic, such as by the race, ethnicity or age of the child depicted.”
Authorities managed to link the dropbox account to Jones through the email address that he used.
Parker County authorities began investigating Jones in February 2017 through a cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which had received a report from dropbox.com of suspected child pornography that a customer had placed on their site. That report went to the Dallas Internet Crimes Against Children unit which then contacted Weatheford police.
Jones was arrested in November 2017.
After his arrest, officials with Child Protective Services conducted screening interviews with some children with whom Jones had contact.
“The victim in our sexual abuse case made an outcry during one of those screenings,” Swain said.
The teen, who was known to Jones, described what happened to her more fully in a forensic interview with officials at the Paluxy Children’s Advocacy Center in Granbury and medical staff at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth.