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WAXAHACHIE, TX — An Ellis County court sentenced a 58-year-old child abuser to life in prison on Thursday for sexually assaulting at least five children at his wife’s daycare facility.

Dennis Avery Mugshot
Dennis Avery

According to Ellis County prosecutors, 58-year-old Dennis Ray Avery (of Waxahachie) had sexually abused at least five children (all under six-years-old) over a two-year period before he was finally arrested in May of 2016.

He has remained in custody ever since his arrest, and will now spend the rest of his life behind bars.

On Tuesday, September 19th, 2017, Avery pleaded guilty to four charges of “aggravated sexual assault of a child,” as well as one charge of “continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14 years old.” Avery opted for the jury to determine his punishment (as opposed to the judge). After two days of testimony, the jury deliberated for less than two hours before returning their punishment: Avery would serve five life sentences in jail and be fined $50,000. Afterward, the court ruled that the sentences would run consecutively (rather than concurrently).

On the stand, Avery stated that “Maybe in prison I can get some help and someone can explain (my actions).” It now looks like he’ll have a lot of time to reflect upon his heinous actions behind bars.

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