Less than a week after pleading guilty to sexual assault of more than one child, a Somervell County man was set have a jury decide his fate Monday. But Johnny Lee Wooten, who pleaded guilty to indictments naming multiple male victims, had a last-minute change of heart and accepted a sentencing deal from District Attorney Dale Hanna.
Wooten, 42, was handed down two lengthy sentences - a 45-year and 60-year prison term - without the possibility for parole. The sentences were set to run concurrently.
The indictment against Wooten named several male victims - some who were younger than 14 years old when the contact occurred and others younger than 17. The assaults occurred over an almost 20-year period.
Wooten was arrested in Sept. 2012, following an outcry from one victim - now an adult - who said the abuse occurred from the time he was about nine years old until he was 16.
When confronted with the allegation, Wooten made a videotaped confession, initially attempting to minimize the offenses, Chief Deputy Derrell McCravey with the Somervell County Sheriff's Office said.
Additional victims stepped forward, and Wooten reportedly admitted to additional offenses in a subsequent interview.
In December, a Somervell County grand jury handed down two first-degree felony indictments, with potential sentences of 25-99 years in prison.
The first indictment included two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, relating to incidents that allegedly occurred around Jan. 1, 1994 and May 1, 1995. The alleged victim was a male, younger than 14.
The second indictment alleged continuous sexual abuse of a young child from 2009 and until Aug. 2012 involving a male child younger than 14 and another who was younger than 17.
In all about half a dozen victims were named in the indictments.
While Wooten worked for an out-of-town funeral parlor, he was involved with local youth programs throughout the years.
After the sentencing agreement was accepted, victims were allowed to enter victim impact statements, addressing their abuser.