An Ellis County jury sentenced a Waxahachie man to 20 years in prison Thursday on a second-degree felony charge of indecency with a child.

Edwin Kenner Lyon, 60, had previously been convicted on two state jail felony charges of injury to a child and was not eligible for probation. He must serve at least 10 years before he is eligible for parole

The offense occurred in June 2006 and involved a female child known to Lyon, assistant district attorney Lindy Tober said, saying authorities learned of the incident after the child was removed from her parents’ care and placed with a foster family.

“In November 2006, her foster mom was talking to her about ‘stranger danger’ when (the child) made an outcry that she had been touched ‘down there’ and pointed to her private area,” Tober said. “Upon getting that information, the foster mom called CPS (Child Protective Services) and in conjunction with the Waxahachie Police Department set up an interview at the Gingerbread House children’s advocacy center.”

At the advocacy center the child told the forensic interviewer that the incident occurred at Lyon’s home while she was watching TV, Tober said, with the child reporting this had happened on more than one occasion.

The child testified during the trial, Tober said, saying, “She pointed right to him at the trial when I asked him who had touched her.”

Similar incidents had been reported to authorities in 1999, with Tober noting those reached a disposition in June 2000 with Lyon pleading guilty to two cases of injury to a child and receiving four years probation for each.

Tober was not the prosecuting attorney on those cases but said the offenses involved two other girls from ages 4-6 and occurred prior to the opening of the Gingerbread House.

“If we would have had the Gingerbread House on those (1999) cases, it would have helped,” Tober said, noting the advocacy center’s multi-disciplinary and child-friendly approach to the investigation and prosecution of child abuse. “We would have had a more clear case.”

In May 2004, Lyon pleaded “true” to violating his probation and was sentenced to 450 days in a state jail facility for not completing his sex offender counseling and by failing to install a filtering device on his computer to prevent access to pornography, Tober said.

During this trial, sex offender treatment therapist Ben Boaz testified during the punishment phase that he would characterize Lyon as “high risk” and likely to re-offend, Tober said, noting the jury took about one hour to convict and about 15 minutes to assess the maximum possible sentence on a second-degree felony charge, which carries a two- to 20-year term if convicted.

She said Lyon has a pending charge of felon in possession of a firearm that awaits disposition.

Lyon’s attorney could not be reached for comment prior to press time.

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