A 38-year-old Burleson man was sentenced Thursday to 634 years in prison and ordered to pay $120,000 in fines for sexually assaulting the daughter of a woman with whom he had a 13-year relationship and forcing the girl and a female classmate to perform sex acts on each other.
A Johnson County jury deliberated just 45 minutes before recommending that Robert Walter Bonner serve 99 years in prison for each of six aggravated sexual assault counts on which they convicted him Wednesday.
The jury of eight women and four men also recommended that Bonner serve 20 years each on four counts of indecency with a child and two counts of sexual performance of a child. And they recommended that he pay a $10,000 fine on each of the 12 counts.
Bonner was immediately sentenced by 413th District Judge William Bosworth, who ordered him to serve the six 99-year prison terms and two 20-year terms consecutively. Four other 20-year sentences are to be served at the same time, or concurrent with, the first 99-year sentence.
Bonner then listened to statements from about a dozen people, including the girls and their families. Most condemned him for the harm he did. But the most powerful statement, said prosecutor Martin Strahan, came from a victim's father.
"He said as bad it was, as a Christian man, he needed to forgive him," Strahan said.
The assaults came to light a year after Bonner was arrested by police who found more than 600 marijuana plants growing in his home near a Burleson middle school. Strahan said the May 8, 2007, raid came after Bonner's son, now 7, told people at school about the plants in the house.
After finding child pornography on computers seized during the raid, police questioned the girl, now 13, and her two half-siblings about possible abuse
, which they initially denied.
Months later, however, Bonner's son told his grandmother that he had seen Bonner having sex with his half-sister.
A few months later, a former classmate of the girl told Indiana authorities that Bonner had assaulted them both.
Police then reinterviewed the 13-year-old, her brother and half-sister, now 10. In the second interview, all three acknowledged what Bonner had done, according to testimony at the two-week trial.