WAXAHACHIE — An Ellis County jury determined that, for the next 150 years, the Daniel Paul Hammons' view will consist of bars, concrete and barbed wired. The 30-year-old Ferris resident was found guilty Thursday on two counts of sexual assault of a child.
The jury sentenced Hammons to 75 years and a fine of $10,000 for each of the two counts. Judge Cindy Ermatinger of the 443rd District Court of Ellis County ordered the sentences to be served consecutively. The charges stemmed from a period in 2015 in which a 14-year-old victim babysat for Hammons, who was a friend of the victim’s family.
According to the office of Ellis County and District Attorney Patrick Wilson, the evidence presented during the trial revealed that Hammons began "grooming the child by complimenting her body, rubbing up against her." He then would tell her about his marital problems, asked to see her breasts, and eventually engaged in sex acts with the child.
"The victim would go to Hammons home to babysit while he and his wife worked," a DA's office press release states. "Before he left he would take the babysitter into the children’s room to clean and then engage in sex acts with the victim while his children were locked outside."
According to Wilson's office, the jury also heard testimony from two other child victims who testified about inappropriate touching by the defendant. The defendant was charged with two separate sex acts with the babysitter and convicted of both counts. Hammons was previously convicted of burglary of a habitation, which enhanced his crimes to first-degree felonies.
The babysitter was also able to give details about the offenses including what the defendant would do to her. She was also able to describe a tattoo on Hammons’ penis, court documents state.
According to a National Center for Missing and Exploited Children report, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that child protective agencies reported approximately 543,000 substantiated incidents of neglect, 123,000 substantiated incidents of physical abuse and 66,000 substantiated incidents of child sexual abuse in 2009.
The report also states that a Department of Justice incidence study estimated that 285,400 children are victims of sexual assault in a given year.
At the earliest, Hammons will not be eligible for parole until 2076. Assistant District Attorneys Ricky Sipes and Jake Heffernan prosecuted the case and thanked the jury for their service and their verdicts.