Weatherford Democrat

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September 26, 2013

Life without parole given to child’s assailant

Man first in Parker County tried by jury under continuous sexual assault of a child statute

(Continued)

“I’m asking you to consider something closer to the 25-year range,” Wilson said. “I’m asking you to give this man a chance to come out of prison and not automatic life.”

Prosecutors asked the jury to give Holbrook life imprisonment on two of the offenses and the maximum 20-year sentences on the lesser two offenses.

“This defendant has earned it,” Assistant District Attorney Kathleen Catania said.

Catania asked jurors to consider what had been taken from the victim and how she would continue to be affected.

“This is about the rest of her life,” Catania said.

There will never be a time when children will be safe while Holbrook is outside of prison, Catania said.

The child made an outcry to a nurse at Millwood Hospital after a concerned relative removed her from the situation and the girl was hospitalized for post-traumatic stress disorder.

During the trial, the girl’s counselor and one of her teachers testified about the girl’s PTSD symptoms, including hiding under a desk, flashbacks, nightmares and self-harm actions.

“This was a very courageous little girl,” Swain said afterward. “Not only was she brave enough to disclose what had been happening for so many years despite [Holbrook’s] threats that he would hurt her if she ever told, she got on the witness stand and told a room full of strangers all of the awful things he did to her. Her vivid demonstrations of what he did to her made it crystal clear to everyone watching that this girl was telling the truth.”

The child’s descriptions of the abuse lent a lot of credibility to the allegations, Swain said, adding that the level of detail she provided should not have been known by such a young child unless something very wrong had happened.

Jurors were also shown video of Parker County Sheriff’s Investigator Rob Pawley confronting the suspect about the sexual abuse allegation.

“I’m not going to straight up deny it, but I’m not going to claim it either,” Holbrook said, adding that there were periods of time he could not remember and that he was a methamphetamine user.

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