By Justin Cox
Killeen Daily Herald
The attorney for Jody Lee Petty, of Belton, told the court his client paid a couple of teenage boys to perform sexual acts on camera, and Petty did it for his own self-gratification.
On Wedneday, Petty, 27, was sentenced to five years of deferred probation and 90 days in the Bell County Jail.
While testifying on the stand before 27th District Court Judge Joe Carroll, Petty, 27, said he was embarrassed and admitted doing the crime. Three months ago, he pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony of sexual performance of a child.
"He didn't touch anybody, he didn't hurt anybody," Petty's defense attorney, Ryan Smith, said in his closing statement.
If one of the teens hadn't been three weeks shy of his 18th birthday, it wouldn't even be a felony, he said.
Assistant District Attorney Leslie McWilliams argued that what Petty did was still a crime.
"And a serious crime – he exploited these kids," McWilliams argued in her closing statements. "He wants to distance himself from this by saying it was a one-time thing. It wasn't. He's done it repeatedly."
Judge Carroll denied the defense's request to minimize Petty's status as a sex offender; Petty will have to comply fully as a convicted sex offender. But Carroll noted in his judgment that Petty did the right thing in admitting his crime.
"I am pleased that you confessed," Carroll said. "But whatever you've been doing, you need to stop."
Contact Justin Cox at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7568.