The former manager of the Pizza Hut in Gilmer was sentenced to life in prison. Kerry Scott Baker, 33, was charged with sexually assaulting two children younger than 10 years old in 2006.
Another man, Matthew Albert Stubbert, 35, was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Baker waived his right to a jury trial and was sentenced by 115th District Judge Lauren Parish.
“These were horrible facts and this was a horrible set of circumstances. I have seen a lot of very disturbing evidence over years as a district attorney and as a prosecutor. The evidence in this case was some of the most disturbing evidence that I have ever seen,” said Upshur County District Attorney Billy Byrd.
He said that the case originated when the Federal Bureau of Investigation ran a search warrant for child pornography at a home in Maryland. They seized a computer and had it studied by a forensic analyst to find the origin of the child pornography on it.
The FBI then got a search warrant for a mobile home that belonged to Baker on Jack Rabbit Road. Byrd said that when agents arrived, they found the mobile home had been moved.
With the help of neighbors, federal agents and the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office were able to find it. Baker was home and permitted officers to search his house, Byrd said.
“We found that he was downloading child pornography when we arrived,” Byrd said.
Baker voluntarily gave a statement to the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office which incriminated him. Byrd said that investigators found that he had assaulted both male and female children.
Byrd said that Baker had recorded some of the assaults and photographic evidence existed.
He was arrested Aug. 26 and indicted Nov. 12 by the Upshur County Grand Jury on several counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child.
Since he entered a guilty plea, Baker may not appeal his sentence. He will not be eligible for parole until he has served about 42 years, Byrd said.
Byrd termed the case “shocking and surprising.”
Byrd said he knew Baker, and had taken his Little League team to the Pizza Hut while Baker was manager there.
Baker also faces federal charges, including three counts of production of child pornography, transporting materials involving the sexual exploitation of minors, receipt of materials involving the sexual exploitation of minors and possession of materials involving the sexual exploitation of minors.
Byrd said he had contacted federal officials after Baker’s life sentence Friday, and it will be up to them as to how they will proceed.
Stubbert received the maximum 20-year sentence for his crime.
“He entered a plea of guilty to the offense and requested the judge to assess punishment,” Byrd said. “He asked Judge Parish to consider placing him on a term of Community Supervision.”
Stubbert testified and told Judge Parish that he had never before been convicted of a felony offense.
On cross examination, District Attorney Byrd had Stubbert admit that he took advantage of a vulnerable teenage girl with whom Stubbert held a position of trust.
“Stubbert reluctantly admitted he preyed upon the child and engaged in sexual activity with her more times than he could remember,” Byrd said.
During closing argument, Byrd asked Judge Parish to assess a punishment that would be sufficient to protect children in the community from Stubbert, and that also would deter others in Upshur County who might consider preying upon children here.
Stubbert, who was out on bond, was immediately taken into custody to begin serving his sentence.