Aledo man to spend remainder of life in prison
From the Parker County District Attorney’s Office
NOTE: This story contains graphic content.
The sentences that will result in an Aledo man spending the rest of his life in prison for repeatedly molesting a 9-year-old girl on video were upheld on appeal in a ruling Tuesday, May 18.
In March, 2020, Billy Ryan Devenport, 37, pled guilty 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. Devenport elected to have District Judge Graham Quisenberry assess his punishment instead of a jury.
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 child sexual abusers that I have seen in over 25 years as a prosecutor,” said 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. Through those recordings, Judge Quisenberry saw first-hand what he did to this child. I think that really hit home how depraved Mr. Devenport was and why he was so deserving of a sentence that will not end until his death.”
On appeal, Devenport claimed that both the continuous sexual abuse of a young child statute as well as the stacked sentences he received amounted to cruel and unusual punishment under both the U.S. and Texas constitutions.
In rejecting his claims, the appeals court pointed out that the harm to the child-victim in the case was “depressingly heart-wrenching,” resulting in damage to the victim’s psychological state, educational performance, and likely resulting in her requiring years of therapy. They also noted the type and quantity of child pornography that Devenport had on several devices which were admitted into evidence, calling it “particularly depraved.”
“The thousands of images and videos of child pornography depicted some of most disgusting 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.”
At one point, the appeals court said that nature of Devenport’s offenses was something that “we have merely summarized out of respect for the reader’s sensibilities”.
After 18 pages of discussion, the Fourteenth Court of Appeals in Houston affirmed Devenport’s convictions and sentences.
“We are grateful that Mr. Devenport will spend the remainder of his life in prison,” Swain said. “Parker County is fortunate that we have a great Children’s Advocacy Center that can help children in cases like this. I am happy to report that, while our victim really struggled at the beginning of her counseling, she has made great strides in the two and a half years since these offenses occurred. She has a great rapport with her CAC counselor and we are all optimistic for her future as she grows up.”