Benjamin Michael McCleary, who originally pleaded not guilty in December 2017 to two second-degree sexual offenses involving a child, accepted a plea bargain this week in Somervell County’s 249th District Court.
With the plea deal, the Johnson County man who was 27 when he was first charged, on Tuesday was sentenced to six years in prison on each of two counts of sexual assault of a child, according to court documents.
McCleary was credited with 743 days served in the Somervell County Jail. The two jail sentences will run concurrently.
McCleary also pleaded guilty on two counts of indecency with a child by sexual contact, which brought a sentence of 10 years deferred adjudication and a $1,000 fine. McCleary also agreed not to have any contact “with victims or victims’ family,” in addition to “standard terms of sex offender probation.”
Also as part of the agreement, the prosecution abandoned counts three, four and seven from the indictments brought on Sept. 11 by a Somervell County grand jury.
Court documents showed that the original charge involved a total of two felony charges. Court records show that the charges involved two separate victims, each under age 17, in incidents on Aug. 4 and Aug. 5 of 2017. He had pleaded not guilty to those charges on Dec. 13, 2017.
But McCleary was re-indicted earlier this month, resulting in a total of seven felony counts. He changed his plea to guilty during the jury selection process for what would have been the start of his trial this week.
Conviction of a second-degree felony in Texas carries a punishment of 2-20 years in prison.