Former Grapeland councilman pleads guilty to child sex crimes

Aaron Pennington mug shot courtesy of Houston County Jail.
Aaron Pennington mug shot courtesy of Houston County Jail.

CROCKETT, TX (KTRE) - A former Grapeland city council member has pleaded guilty to seven child sex charges and faces up to 20 years in prison.

According to Houston County District Attorney Donna Kaspar, Aaron Pennington agreed to plead guilty to the charges after prosecutors agreed not to pursue stacking his sentences. Kaspar said she will pursue the maximum sentences on each charge.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault of a child, two counts of promotion of child pornography and two counts of possession of child pornography.

He will face sentencing on Feb. 23. If Pennington does not continue to follow his bond restrictions or if he does not show up for his court date, his sentences will be stacked, Kaspar said.

"This agreement comes after discussions with the victims and their families and takes into consideration the safety of the community, the cost and expense to the county of a full trial and more importantly the avoidance of embarrassment for the victims and their families," Kaspar stated in a press release. "I am profoundly grateful that there were two victims willing to tell the authorities what was happening. I know that it takes courage and strength to do so as many victims never speak out at all. I am glad that we were able to resolve the case with an appropriate punishment and without the need for the victims to testify and relive the pain and anguish caused by Mr. Pennington. I appreciate the fine job done by the Grapeland Police Department and the Attorney General's Office."

Pennington was arrested last year following an investigation into claims that he had a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old boy. A further investigation revealed nude images of the boy.

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