From the Parker County District Attorney’s Office. WARNING: graphic content is in this story.
An Aledo man convicted of repeatedly molesting a 9-year-old girl while he recorded it was sentenced to a lifetime in prison in a case that concluded Tuesday afternoon in district court in Weatherford.
Billy Ryan Devenport, 36, pled guilty in December to continuous sexual abuse of a young child, ten counts of promotion of child pornography, 17 counts of possession of child pornography, and possession of less than a gram of methamphetamine. Instead of a jury, Devenport elected to have District Judge Graham Quisenberry assess his punishment.
After hearing testimony from a Parker County Sheriff’s Office investigator and the victim’s counselor with the Children’s Advocacy Center of Parker County, Quisenberry assessed the maximum sentence available under Texas law. Devenport received a sentence of life without parole on the sexual abuse charge as well as a total of 370 years on the child pornography counts, which Quisenberry ordered to be served consecutively. He was sentenced to six months in a state jail facility on the drug offense.
“Mr. Devenport was among the worst of the child sexual abuse cases that I have seen,” said Assistant District Attorney Jeff Swain, who prosecuted the case. “Not only did he sexually abuse the victim repeatedly for months, he convinced her that this was normal behavior, recording much of the abuse. It’s one thing to hear testimony about child sexual abuse. It’s another entirely to see exactly what you are sentencing a person for doing, which is what the judge did in this case since those recordings were admitted into evidence.”
“This defendant had thousands of images and videos of child pornography on several devices depicting some of most depraved acts you could imagine with children as young as 3-years-old,” Swain said. “He had an entire collection focused on bondage and sexual torture of elementary school-aged kids. These were just heartbreaking images.”
“We also had testimony that Devenport had the victim use methamphetamine, marijuana, and alcohol,” Swain said.
Inv. Josh Pitman testified that the investigation began in December, 2018, when he received a cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) through an investigator with the Dallas Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.
“NCMEC had received information from Google that a person had uploaded suspected images of child pornography into their Google account,” Swain said. “They passed this information along to Dallas ICAC who got it to Pitman. In their cybertip, they also indicated that they believed these were unique images not already circulating on the internet, meaning that this may be an active victim of abuse.”
According to his testimony, Pitman reviewed the images, which he determined were clearly child pornography, and found that the GPS coordinates embedded in the image files were from an Aledo address. That address matched other information from Billy Ryan Devenport’s Google account. A review of Devenport’s Facebook account pictures, closed Child Protective Services file pictures, and a call to an Aledo Independent School District counselor confirmed that the girl shown in the uploaded child pornography images was currently residing in Aledo.
“This all started with Google,” Swain said. “If they had not begun the process with their cybertip, there is no telling how long the abuse would have continued.”
Pitman got a search warrant for the home and found it to be in deplorable condition with rotting food and dirty clothes and trash everywhere, according to his testimony. He found several cell phones, laptops, tablets, and memory cards, which yielded thousands of images of child pornography when they were examined.
“We are grateful that Judge Quisenberry made sure that Mr. Devenport will never be released, which is exactly what we asked for” Swain said. “Under Texas law, this life sentence is to be served without the possibility of parole. However, in case the legislature changes parole rules or something strange happens on appeal, the other sentences are all stacked on top of the life sentence and each of the other terms of imprisonment.”
Amber Lopez, a licensed professional counselor with the Children’s Advocacy Center of Parker County, testified that she has been seeing the victim weekly for over a year. She said that, while the girl really struggled at the beginning of their work, through counseling she has made great strides.
“We are very fortunate to have the CAC available to help our community’s victims,” Swain said. “It really is an invaluable resource that can be used to give child-victims a voice in the process and help them to heal.”