NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - After the state and the defense rested in the bench trial for the former Nacogdoches pharmacist accused of having a paid sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl who was also a runaway at the time, it only took the judge 20 minutes to sentence Stanley Turner to six years in a Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison Thursday morning.
Turner, 65, of Nacogdoches, appeared in the 145th Judicial District Court for the sentencing phase of his bench trial. Because Judge Campbell Cox recused himself from the case, Guy Griffith, a visiting judge, presided over the bench trial.
As part of the sentencing, Griffith gave Turner credit for the time he has already served in the Nacogdoches County Jail since he 3 was arrested in October of 2014. On Tuesday, Turner pleaded guilty to a felony sexual assault of a minor charge.
"I understand that the judge had a very difficult decision to make weighing all the factors. And, considering what could've been a 20 years sentence, I think a six year sentence by this judge shows that he worked hard and listen to all side of the case," said John Heath Jr., Turner's attorney.
Earlier Thursday, Turner took the stand to defend the circumstances that led to his paid sexual encounter with the 14-year-old victim.
Turner told the judge that he was facing pressure at work, and his martial relationship with his wife was strained. He said he had a paid sexual relationship with Marashia Robinson, of Nacogdoches, for several months, but his enthusiasm faded after he learned she had become pregnant.
Turner said the circumstances that led to paying the victim's mother and having sex with a minor has taken an emotional toll on his life. He said he has made several improvements in his life with his wife and work.
"Since this event, he had made a real serious turn and I think judge recognized that," Heath Jr. said.
While he was on the stand, Turner said he had doubts within himself when he came to Lufkin to pay the victim's mother and was deciding to turn around before he was arrested. The state challenged Turner's testimony by saying he is attracted to young black girls. In addition, the state tried to imply that his track record shows he was sexually attracted to not only the victim, but another girl of the same age.
After the defense rested, the defense attorney asked the judge in closing arguments to consider a sentence of probation, but if the judge was seeking prison time, to consider a five-year sentence.
The prosecutor argued that the state is seeking a 15-year prison term.
According to arrest affidavits, Turner allegedly offered to pay the girl's mother $2,000 if the victim told police the sexual encounter did not happen.
Turner was originally charged with solicitation of a prostitute under the age of 18 and sexual assault of a child. Later, the Nacogdoches Police Department filed two additional charges - tampering with a witness and trafficking - against him.
An arrest affidavit stated that a Nacogdoches Police Department officer responded to Lufkin Memorial Hospital on Aug. 25 in response to a juvenile sexual assault victim. The officer learned that the 14-year-year-old girl had been reported as a runaway in Lufkin earlier that month and had been found in Nacogdoches.
The 14-year-old girl allegedly told the officer that she had sex with more than one adult male while she was staying in Nacogdoches. The girl added that she had been paid for some of the sexual encounters the affidavit stated.
When the girl talked to a forensic investigator at Harold's House, she said that one of the men she had sex with was an older white man that was known to her as "Stan." She also said that she had been told that he was a pharmacist.
In addition, the victim told the interviewer that while she was staying in Nacogdoches, she met a woman she knew as "Shay," who told her that she could set up a paid sexual encounter with a man, the affidavit said. The woman, who was later identified as Robinson then set up the sexual encounter at her apartment on Pearl Street.
After the alleged sexual encounter, "Stan" took the victim and another juvenile to a Nacogdoches business to buy items with the money the victim had received from "Stan," the affidavit stated.
Nacogdoches PD detectives identified the man the girl knew as "Stan" as Stanley Turner. When Turner was brought in for questioning he admitted to meeting the victim in a back room of the apartment and making a money transaction with her before taking her and another juvenile to a store, according to the affidavit. However, he allegedly denied having a sexual encounter with the 14-year-old girl.
Robinson was brought in for questioning as well. During the interview with NPD detectives, she allegedly admitted to setting up a paid sexual encounter between Turner and the 14-year-old girl. She told police that she went outside during the actual act, and claimed that she was unaware that the girl was a juvenile, the affidavit stated.
Robinson was arrested and charged with felony trafficking.