William Dean Resto repeatedly urged jurors Wednesday to acquit him of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy at their church on Easter 2005, saying his truthful testimony and Jesus’ forgiveness had freed him under God’s law.Johnson County prosecutor Martin Strahan countered that man’s law dictates that Resto be imprisoned for as long as legally allowable to protect other children from an evil “wolf in sheep’s clothing” who preys on trusting church people.
Man’s law won twice Wednesday, despite dramatic closing arguments by Resto, a 23-year-old Cleburne man who defended himself against the four-count indictment in 413th state District Court this week.
The nine-woman, three-man jury took 40 minutes to convict Resto on all four counts: two of sexual assault and two of indecency with a child. The crimes are second-degree felonies.
Jurors later took 50 minutes to recommend that Resto serve the maximum prison term of 99 years and pay $10,000 in fines as sought by prosecutors on each of the four convictions.
The punishment exceeds the range for second-degree felonies. But because Resto’s criminal record includes two convictions for second-degree felonies committed as a juvenile, prosecutors were able to seek punishment usually reserved for first-degree felonies.
Judge William Bosworth immediately sentenced Resto, who showed little emotion. Resto will not be eligible for parole until he has served at least 30 years, including the two years he has been jailed since his arrest.