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Stephenville Empire-Tribune
  • Men head to prison after reaching plea deals

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  • Two men are headed to prison for extended periods of time after pleading guilty Monday in the 266th Judicial District Court to crimes involving sexual assault, drug possession and stalking.
    Rodney Eugene McClain, 39, was sentenced to 40 years in prison for aggravated sexual assault in a case involving a 12-year-old family member.
    District Attorney John Terrill said the victim came forward about five years after the abuse took place. The victim made an outcry while receiving counseling at Cross Timbers Family Services, Terrill said. Because the victim was a minor, counselors are required by law to alert authorities about of the alleged abuse, which occurred in October 2001.
    The charge against McClain was enhanced because he was previously convicted of burglary, Terrill said. McClain has been held in the Erath County Jail since Dec. 5, 2007 on a $75,000 bond.
    If the case had gone to trial, McClain faced 15 years to life in prison. He will be eligible for parole in 20 years.
    Meanwhile, in a separate case involving drug possession and stalking, Jeffery Allen Berry, 44, pleaded guilty after reaching a plea agreement with the state.
    Terrill said Berry was sentenced to 15 years for possession of a controlled substance and five years for stalking his ex-girlfriend.
    The sentences are set to run concurrently. Berry will be eligible for parole after serving one-fourth of his sentence.

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