"It is a sad day in the community when we learn that a sexual predator has been abusing even one innocent child for years," District Attorney Greg Willis said in the statement.
Trigger Warning: The following content contains descriptions of child sexual abuse which may be distressing for some readers.
In a letter, a young child in Texas confessed to God about having been sexually abused by an adult man. The child's parents learned of the traumatic event their child had been through when they discovered the letter. The letter's discovery resulted in an investigation and a subsequent arrest; the ensuing inquiry also revealed that the same individual was abusing a second child, reported PEOPLE.
After Parents Discover Child's Letter to God, a Texas Man is Convicted of Sexual Abuse https://t.co/1B26yO8EJn— People (@people) August 31, 2022
Mark Elliott Jones, 49, of McKinney was taken into custody and is now facing two counts of sexual abuse of a child. In a statement, the Collin County District Attorney said that Jones had ongoing access to two children for a number of years and committed sexual assault against them. “One of the children’s parents found a letter their child had written to God in which she disclosed the abuse,” the statement read. “The child’s parent reported the information to law enforcement, whose investigation led to the discovery of the second abused child.”
The victims were 10 and 14 years old, respectively. Owing to the extremely young age of the victimized children, further information has not been divulged about their relationship to the defendant.
Zachary Craven, a detective with the McKinney Police Department, looked into the matter. Both children provided facts regarding their abuse during the forensic interviews at the Children's Advocacy Center of Collin County. District Attorney Investigators Kim Voigt-Eanes and Sam Selman, Victim Assistance Coordinator Casey Hendrix, and Legal Secretary Christy Ware worked with Assistant Criminal District Attorneys Kim Kircher and Ashleigh Woodall to pursue the case.
"The jury found Jones guilty of Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child, which has a minimum punishment of 25 years in prison. Judge Andrea Thompson assessed punishment at 35 years in prison. By law, a sentence for Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child is without eligibility for parole," the statement continues. The second sentence will run concurrently with the first.
Per PEOPLE, Jones will remain on the state's sex offenders list forever. "It is a sad day in the community when we learn that a sexual predator has been abusing even one innocent child for years," District Attorney Greg Willis said in the statement. "But to learn that this predator sexually traumatized not one but two innocent children is simply unbearable."
Representative Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Caspar Benson