Former Peace Officer Sentenced In Sex Assault Case

Wayne Rowe was arrested, charged, and indicted for sexual assault of a child, but that's not the charge he plead to. Instead, Rowe plead no contest to injury to a child. The new charge means Rowe does not have to register as a sex offender for having sex with a 13-year-old girl.

Ranger Pete Maskunas said, "The child had endured enough problems and enough mental anguish of having to just go through it the first time, that if they could come to another agreement, they would go ahead and plead it out to prevent her from having to testify."

Even though the case against Rowe didn't go to trial, authorities had strong evidence against him, and they were more than ready to prove it in court.

"This is not a case where Wayne Rowe plead out to something because we did not think we could make the case on him. We could make the case on him, we had the case made. The DNA evidence was strong."

Rowe won't do any hard time, but he didn't get off easy. A Trinity County judge sentenced Rowe to 10 years straight probation.

Maskunas said, "The 10 years probation that he received is considered a final condition and is a sentence, so that at any time during that 10 years, if he commits another offense or violates his probation, he can be sentenced to 10 years in prison."

Under the plea agreement, Rowe surrendered his peace officer's license, which means he'll never be a peace officer again in the State of Texas. Rowe also agreed to pay a $1,000 fine and perform 240 hours of community service as part of his sentence.

He'd been a patrol lieutenant with the Trinity County Sheriff's Office for less than a year.