WEATHERFORD ― A 43-year-old Springtown man was convicted of 43 child sex abuse counts in Weatherford on Tuesday. He was sentenced Wednesday to 4,060 years in prison, to be served consecutively, and a fine of $430,000.
Throughout the trial, prosecutors showed evidence that Pope had abused the three teens over the course of 20 months, starting in May 2006. A calendar detailing the dates of sexual acts was admitted into evidence, as well as sexually explicit photographs of the victims.
During the trial, prosecutors played a phone conversation between Pope and his mother, recorded in March 2008. He can be heard explaining, "They were never forced. I treated them like adults. We discussed it. We talked about it, and the decision was made. It was never forced."
In another phone call, Pope is heard saying, "I have totally screwed myself. They wanted me to incriminate myself and I've already done that."
Authorities became aware of Pope in February 2008, after he made inappropriate comments to a friend who then contacted Child Protective Services.
Prior to that, according to Parker County Sheriff's Investigator Robert Pawley, one of the victims reported the abuse to her mother in December 2007, however, no action was taken.
In addition to the cases with the three teens, an examination of Pope's home computer found hundreds of sexually explicit photographs of children in suggestive poses, according to a United States Secret Service agent who testified during the sentencing portion of the trial.
The jury deliberated for three hours before returning the guilty verdict, and for another 90 minutes before returning the sentence.
The lengthy sentence includes the maximum life sentence for each of the sexual assaults and 20 years for each sexual performance case. The fine is also the maximum for these crimes.
Pope will be eligible for parole in the year 3209, according to Texas law.