San Augustine man pleads guilty to relationship with teen

San Augustine man pleads guilty to relationship with teen

SAN AUGUSTINE, TX (KTRE) - A San Augustine man has pleaded guilty to an inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old girl, accepting an eight-year prison sentence.

Billy Gene Childress, 56, waited until a jury had been selected for his trial before deciding to plead guilty, District Attorney Kevin Dutton said.

Dutton said an additional charge of possession of child pornography will be dropped.

The sheriff's office began investigating the case in 2011 when officials at a school in the county reported rumors of the girl having a sexual relationship with an adult.

Authorities conducted an investigation and determined the rumors were valid and collected evidence in the case. They then interviewed the victim and she admitted to the relationship.

The relationship began in early 2010. Childress' daughter, Margaret Childress, would pick up the girl from school on Fridays and take her to her and her father's house. Billy Childress would have sex and sleep in his bed at nights and Margaret Childress would bring the girl back to school on Mondays.

Deputies charged Childress with possession of child pornography in August after they recovered his cellphone and found images there.

Dutton said Margaret Childress will plead guilty to a lesser charge, after agreeing to testify against her father.

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