When Judge Jim Fallon sentenced Don Dodson Jr. to 50 years in prison this week, that sentence ended years of abuse suffered by two local girls.

A written statement from the Grayson County District Attorney’s Office said Dodson, 25, of Denison, pleaded guilty to the charge of aggravated sexual assault of a child in exchange for the D.A.’s Office’s promise to not seek more than 50 years in prison.

Dodson will have to serve half of the 50 years before becoming illegible for parole.

The statement said the case came to light in December of 2017 when two of Dodson’s relatives told their parents that Dodson had repeatedly molested them over a period of ten years.

The girls were approximately eight and six years old when the abuse began, the statement said, and it continued until recently.

“When confronted by his parents, the defendant admitted to the abuse. Denison Police Department investigated the case. Defendant also admitted the abuse to law enforcement,” Grayson County District Attorney Brett Smith said in a written statement.

In a phone call, Grayson County District Attorney Brett Smith said that in addition to taking the outcry from the girls involved, the Grayson County Children’s Advocacy Center will offer them counseling to help them deal with the abuse they suffered.

Smith said the CAC offers one to two years counseling to such victims. He said the counseling is paid for out of crime victims compensation funds and by the CAC and is provided free of charge to the victims.

“I think that is one thing that people don’t realize that the CAC provides,” Smith said. He said it is hard to know why the two girls decided to finally tell someone about the abuse.

“This defendant stole the innocence and any hope of a normal childhood from two children. They should be applauded for having the courage to come forward so that this defendant could be brought to justice. Nothing can restore what he took from them, but hopefully this 50-year-sentence will provide some semblance of justice,” said Assistant Grayson County District Matt Rolston who prosecuted the case, in the written statement.

“We are amazed that despite the lengthy prison sentences being handed down for those who abuse child in Grayson County that we cannot deter this behavior. We think that says a lot about the mind of child sexual predators,” said Smith said in the statement. He said even though the steep sentences don’t seem to be preventing the crimes, they do assure that those being sentenced won’t be committing those crimes in Grayson County for a very long time.

Dodson must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.