Waco, Tx (FOX 44) – A McLennan County jury has assessed a 60-year sentence without the possibility of parole for a 44-year-old man earlier found guilty of continuous sexual abuse of a child under the age of 14.
The case against Jeremy Strickland presented by prosecutors outline a period of abuse from 2013 through 2021. It was in 2021 that the victim texted 9-1-1 and reported the abuse. Bellmead Police and Child Protective Services then conducted the investigation, leading to Strickland’s indictment in 2022.
During the trial, the female victim described numerous instances of abuse she suffered through her childhood, with incidents occurring at several locations – including some outside of McLennan County. In addition to the victim’s testimony, prosecutors presented expert witnesses, who described the nature of sexual abuse and explained why child victims typically do not immediately disclose that they are being abused.
Prosecutors also presented expert medical testimony explaining how, contrary to what is often portrayed on television shows, sexual abuse of children rarely results in any injuries, nor does it leave any physical evidence.
The jury deliberated around three hours before returning the guilty verdict, and spent just one hour deliberating his punishment. During the trial’s punishment phase, prosecutors presented evidence of Strickland’s prior criminal history – including convictions for Arson, Attempted Burglary of a Vehicle, and Forgery of a Financial Instrument.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Maddie Beach and Jessica Washington, who issued the following statement:
“Sometimes the littlest voices can take down the biggest monsters. This victim’s courage in finding her voice is inspirational. Her story illustrates to any child who is silently suffering abuse that there are people willing to listen.”