A Parker County jury convicted a 42-year-old Joshua man on two counts of molesting two young girls and sentenced him to 45 years in prison on each count in a trial that concluded Thursday in district court in Weatherford.
On Wednesday, the jury found Patrick Edward Winchester guilty of two aggravated sexual assault of a child counts for making a pair of 9-year-old girls perform oral sex on him, one in 2008 and the other in 2012. The offenses occurred at Winchester’s homes in unincorporated Parker County near Reno and Springtown.
“Both girls came forward in late 2017 and told law enforcement what had happened to them years ago,” said Assistant District Attorney Abby Placke, who tried the case with Assistant District Attorney Susan Pruett. “The graphic descriptions both girls gave during their testimony of what the defendant did to them were remarkably similar to each other and were consistent throughout the process. They were very credible.”
During the punishment phase of trial, jurors received court records indicating that Winchester had prior convictions for burglary of a habitation, and felony criminal mischief and that Winchester remains on probation in Johnson County for evading arrest with a vehicle.
Jurors also heard testimony from a woman who previously had a relationship with Winchester. She told jurors that he would sexually assault her when she would refuse to have sex with him. She also said that Winchester used cocaine and methamphetamine during the time that they were in a relationship.
After jurors returned with their punishment verdicts, 43rd District Judge Craig Towson, who presided over the trial, said the sentences would run consecutively.
“You have taken something from these girls that they can never get back — their innocence,” Towson told Winchester. “Parents protect their children. They do not turn them into victims for their own gratification.”
“Judge Towson’s decision to stack the sentences was a very important decision,” Pruett said. “It’s the difference between him getting out of prison before he’s old enough to retire and him not having a shot at being released until he’s very old. His decision will make a big difference in keeping our community safe.”
After Towson announced the sentences and that they would be served consecutively, Winchester slowly slumped over and fell out of his chair. An ambulance was called and EMT’s took Winchester to Medical City Weatherford hospital.
“Our jail staff stayed with Mr. Winchester the whole time, from the courtroom until he was released from the hospital and taken to the Parker County Jail,” said Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler. “He was released from the hospital and booked into the jail within an hour or two without incident.”
“This case proves that justice delayed is not always justice denied,” Assistant District Attorney Jeff Swain said. “This is especially the case in child sexual abuse cases where delayed outcries describing the abuse are more the rule than the exception.”
Winchester will not be eligible for release from prison on parole until the year 2063 when he is 86 years old, Swain said.
“When that time comes, whether or not to release him will be up to the discretion of the Board of Pardons and Paroles,” he said.
After the trial, Winchester’s attorneys told Judge Towson that he intended to appeal the conviction and sentence.