LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Diboll man who gave up his jacket so he could have sex with an 11-year-old girl pleaded guilty to the crime Friday, accepting a 15-year prison sentence.
"This day is about those two courageous girls who came forward not only to stop themselves from being abused, but other young children from being abused," said Scott Greenbaum, an Angelina County assistant district attorney. "I would like to personally thank those two young girls."
Cody Clevenger, 22, pleaded guilty to a charge of sexual assault of a child in District Judge Bob Inselmann's court for having sex with a 14-year-old girl.
Clevenger was originally indicted on a count of first-degree aggravated sexual assault of a child and one count of second-degree sexual assault of a child.
"The defendant will have to serve at least half his time before he will be eligible for parole," Greenbaum said.
According to an arrest affidavit released in March, an 11-year-old girl said that in October of 2013, she was visiting her friend and that her brother, who was friends with Clevenger, was there and she said her brother blackmailed her into having sex with Clevenger by threatening to tell their mother about "other stuff" if she did not have sex with him.
"This involves educating our children from a young age to value their bodies and the bodies and rights of other people," said Ashley Cook, the community education director at Harold's House.
The girl said she heard Clevenger and her brother talking about trading her virginity for a red and white Adidas jacket.
Cook says teaching this lesson to children would prevent this type of tragedy.
"We don't look at each other as a commodity or as a thing to be traded for anything," Cook said.
The girl also reported Clevenger had sex with her 14-year-old friend on a different occasion, which opened up another investigation and brought the second charge.
Although Clevenger admitted to having sex with the 11-year-old girl in court, he only pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the 14-year-old.
With the guilty plea, Clevenger must register as a sex offender for life.
Greenbaum thanked the Harold's House Child Advocacy Center and the Angelina County Sheriff's Office for the success of the case.