Former Grapeland councilman gets 20 years for child sex charges

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

CROCKETT, TX (KTRE) - A Houston County judge has sentenced a former Grapeland city councilman to 20 years in prison in relation to seven child sex charges.

Aaron Pennington was arrested and charged in April 2011, following a one month investigation by the Grapeland Police Department.

"Our department treats everybody the same. It doesn't matter if you're the mayor of the city, you're very affluent and wealthy, or you're just a regular, average working person," said Grapeland Chief of Police, John M. Smith.

District Judge Pam Foster Fletcher issued the sentence Thursday morning, giving Aaron Pennington the maximum sentences on each count. However, because he showed up for the court appearance, Fletcher agreed to let him serve the sentences concurrently. The sentencing, Smith says, is well deserved.

"He's not going to victimize anybody else for at least 20 years," said Smith.

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

"You have to paddle your own canoe. You know, if you chose to paddle upstream, downstream, the side stream, over a cliff, you know, that's your call," said Grapeland Mayor George Pierson.

Mayor Pierson says the charges have created an uproar in the city since word first got out. Now, he's glad the ordeal has come full circle.

"Very painful for the city, but then again, I know the Attorney General's office, the Grapeland Police Department, you know they had a job to do. And, they completed the job," said Pierson.

Fletcher sentenced Pennington to 10 years in prison for three of the counts and 20 years for four of them.

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