A Hays County man was sentenced to 90 years in prison Friday for child pornography crimes, county officials said.
Benjamin Wilcox, 44, was sentenced for one count of sexual performance by a child, three counts of possession of child pornography with intent to promote, and 11 counts of possession of child pornography.
The trial, including the sentencing hearing, was presided over by 453rd District Judge Sherri Tibbe. The investigation began when Wilcox's former girlfriend reported finding a list with incriminating search terminology in his belongings. The San Marcos Police Department initiated an investigation that eventually resulted in officers obtaining a warrant and searching several of Wilcox's electronic devices, a news release said.
Wilcox was found to have photographs and messages on his devices proving that he had been soliciting sex from multiple children on a social messaging app. Several of the children were from Texas, and several others were from out of state.
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Wilcox pleaded not guilty, and the case went to trial Feb. 1. After the prosecution's presentation of evidence, Wilcox changed his plea to guilty, and the case was rescheduled for a sentencing hearing.
After hearing evidence Friday, the judge sentenced Wilcox to 60 years in prison for sexual performance by a child, 20 years for the possession with intent to promote child pornography counts, and 10 years on the possession of child pornography counts. Tibbe ordered some of the charges to be served consecutively, resulting in a total sentence of 90 years in prison.
This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Hays County man sentenced to 90 years in prison for child pornography