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Jury hands child predator 60 years prison, no parole

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Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis announced that Joel Thomas Dies, 36, of The Colony, Texas, was sentenced by a jury to 60 years in prison without the possibility of parole for Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child. "This predator can no longer hide behind his manipulation because the child had the courage to expose 'their secret' and report his terrible abuse," Willis added after sentencing.

The evidence showed a number of things. Dies had ongoing access to the child.  He sexually abused the victim over the course of four years starting when the child was just five years old  Dies told the child to keep the abuse "their secret." But the child gathered the courage to tell her mother.  Upon learning this, the mother took the child to see a therapist who then reported the abuse to Child Protective Services and Plano Police.

Plano Detective Chris Jones investigated the case. The child was forensically interviewed at the Children's Advocacy Center of Collin County, where the child disclosed details about the ongoing abuse. During the criminal investigation, law enforcement learned that Dies sexually abused another child several years prior.

The jury found Dies guilty of Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child and the jury assessed punishment at 60 years in prison.  By law, a sentence for Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child is without eligibility for parole. Judge Rayburn Nall presided over the case. 

Assistant Criminal District Attorneys Kimberly Kircher and Carrie Thomas prosecuted the case, assisted by District Attorney Investigators Gregory Bowers, Kim Voigt-Eanes, and Mike Bennett, Victim Assistance Coordinator Casey Hendrix, and Legal Secretary Christy Ware.