A Texas man found guilty of sexually abusing two girls was given a sentence of more than 1,000 years in jail and was fined $120,000.
Robert Franks, 39, was convicted on two counts of continuous sexual abuse, nine counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, and six counts of indecency with a child, according to Daily Mail.
The jury sentenced him to double life sentences for the continuous sexual assault charges. Each of the aggravated sexual assault charges carried a 99-year prison term.
An investigation into Franks' conduct was initiated in June 2016 after a 9-year-old girl told her father that Franks was doing "disgusting things" to her. The 10-year-old initially denied being abused, but after being taken to a sexual assault nursing examiner, she described a series of assaults by Franks which took place every week over five years. Court documents described the assaults as occurring three to four times per week.
"Words cannot really express the depth of the betrayal and outrage warranted by conduct like this, committed by a man who should have been caring for and protecting these children," stated Hays County District Attorney Wes Mau. "The jury's sentence speaks more eloquently than I can to make clear how our community feels about crimes like these."
Franks' adult cousin also spoke at the trial, accusing Franks of abusing her when she was 10 and he was 14.
The jury deliberated for around an hour before finding Franks guilty on all 17 counts.
"The holidays are times of forgiveness and looking for the best in people," added Mau, according to KXAN. "Jurors I know come in a lot of times with that holiday attitude. This time, I think it worked to the defense's disadvantage. The jurors probably were at home and dismayed that things like this could even happen. I assume they spent time with their family, and were horrified this could happen in someone else's family."
Mau added that he hoped the long sentence would send a message.
"This was a case that came down to whether or not the jurors believed these two young girls," Mau said. "There was no physical evidence, these were delayed outcries, I hope this sends a message that jurors will believe them and they should not be afraid to come forward thinking it's going to be my word against adults and that the other adults will believe the grownups. I think the jurors see that and jurors see that children don't make up things like this."
Sources: Daily Mail, KXAN / Featured Image: Federal Bureau of Prisons/bop.gov via Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Carol Highsmith/Library of Congress via Wikimedia Commons, Julie Tuason/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons