Man sentenced to life in prison after 2nd guilty conviction in sexual abuse case
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A man accused of sexual battery against a 5-year-old boy was found guilty for a second time and sentenced to life in prison, a press release from the State Attorney’s Office for the Second Judicial Circuit of Florida says.
The release says Thurston McBride was originally found guilty in a 2012 jury trial; however, that conviction was thrown out on appeal in 2018 because of his defense counsel’s “ineffective assistance... on a single issue.”
The victim, who is now an adult, testified in the trial that wrapped up Wednesday, July 20, 2022.
“The victim showed tremendous strength and courage under circumstances that no one, especially a child, should have to endure,” the release says. “Cases like this could not be investigated and brought to justice without caring school administrators... the tireless work of the Child Protection Team, and the State Attorney’s Office Victim Advocate Unit.”
McBride will also be designated as a sexual predator.
The State Attorney’s Office says the sexual abuse happened when the victim was living with his godmother for an extended period of time. McBride, the husband of the godmother at the time, had gotten angry at the boy for falling asleep in the bathtub, the release says.
McBride then told the boy to go to his room, and that’s when he sexually battered the victim.
The victim did not report the abuse immediately, as is common in child sexual abuse cases, the State Attorney says. Years later, the boy became more withdrawn and depressed, to the point that he wrote a suicide note when he was 11.
His teacher discovered the note and reported it to the principal, who informed the Department of Children and Families. The victim told his mother and a member of the Child Protection Team what had happened to him during a forensic interview, leading to the original guilty conviction in 2012.
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