CASS COUNTY, Texas (KETK) — A Cass County jury sentenced 26-year-old Damien O’Keith Lawson, Sr. on Wednesday to 99 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice – Institutional Division for the felony offense of continuous sexual abuse of a child.

Lawson had previously pleaded guilty to the charge on Jan. 12 before Fifth District Judge Bill Miller and was found guilty. Lawson then requested that a jury gauge his punishment.

The jury was asked by the State to deliver a sentence that sent a message saying sex offenders would not be tolerated in Cass County, thus yielding the 99-year sentence, said the DA’s office.

“I believe the jury sent a clear message with their 99 year sentence. This case was a unique one, where the child had literally been brainwashed by the defendant to believe she was ‘consenting’ to the sexual acts. It has taken months of therapy for her to realize that his behavior was wrong and reprehensible. Hopefully, with Damien Lawson out of her life and a supportive family, this child will be able to resume a normal childhood. I am grateful to the Texas Department of Public Safety, Cass County Sheriff’s Office and the Texarkana Children’s Advocacy Center for their assistance in this case. Because of their support, another sex offender is behind bars for good.”

Courtney Shelton, Cass County Criminal District Attorney