A man convicted in February of sexually assaulting a 5-year-old neighbor was sentenced to prison this week. A Garvin County judge ordered Travis Horn, 25, to spend 40 years in prison for conviction of lewd acts with a child under 16.
The case began in October 2013 when a 5-year-old girl and her 3-year-old sister were playing in the back yard of a home in Elmore City. The girl testified that Horn approached her from the other side of the fence and coerced an act of sodomy through the fence by offering her chocolate. She says the man then told her not to tell anyone what happened.
Throughout his defense, Horn continued to deny the allegation against him. However, earlier in the case, he said he had a history of illness and could have "blacked out" and not remembered the incident.
Earlier this year, a Garvin County jury convicted Horn of one count of lewd acts with a minor and one count of forcible oral sodomy. They recommended a sentence of 40 years in prison. On Wednesday, a judge followed the jury's recommendation, formally sentencing Horn to 25 years in prison for lewd acts with a minor and 15 years for forcible sodomy. He ordered the sentences to run consecutively. His conviction is subject to the 85 Percent Rule, requiring him to serve 85 percent of his sentence before achieving parole eligibility. Upon release, he will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
Lewd or Indecent Proposals or Acts to a Child under 16 refers to almost any sexual act against or comments to a minor under the age of 16. According to 21 O.S. § 1123, it is a felony to make any lewd or indecent proposal to a child under 16; to ask, coerce, or persuade a child to go to a secret location for sexual purpose; to "look upon, touch, maul, or feel the body or private parts" of a minor in a lascivious manner; or to persuade or force a child to look at sexually explicit images, the private parts of another, or sex acts performed in the child's presence; or to force or persuade the child to touch the body or private parts of another person.
Lewd or indecent acts against a child under 16 is typically punishable by 3 to 20 years in prison, but if the child is younger than 12, the crime is considered much more serious. In case of a victim under 12, the crime is punishable by 25 years to life in prison.
Forcible sodomy refers to nonconsensual oral sex, including the "detestable and abominable crime against nature" when it occurs with someone who may provide verbal consent, but is unable to provide legal consent:
B. The crime of forcible sodomy shall include:
1. Sodomy committed by a person over eighteen (18) years of age upon a person under sixteen (16) years of age;
2. Sodomy committed upon a person incapable through mental illness or any unsoundness of mind of giving legal consent regardless of the age of the person committing the crime;
3. Sodomy accomplished with any person by means of force, violence, or threats of force or violence accompanied by apparent power of execution regardless of the age of the victim or the person committing the crime;
4. Sodomy committed by a state, county, municipal or political subdivision employee or a contractor or an employee of a contractor of the state, a county, a municipality or political subdivision of this state upon a person who is under the legal custody, supervision or authority of a state agency, a county, a municipality or a political subdivision of this state, or the subcontractor or employee of a subcontractor of the contractor of the state or federal government, a county, a municipality or a political subdivision of this state;
5. Sodomy committed upon a person who is at least sixteen (16) years of age but less than twenty (20) years of age and is a student of any public or private secondary school, junior high or high school, or public vocational school, with a person who is eighteen (18) years of age or older and is employed by the same school system;
6. Sodomy committed upon a person who is at the time unconscious of the nature of the act, and this fact should be known to the accused; or
7. Sodomy committed upon a person where the person is intoxicated by a narcotic or anesthetic agent administered by or with the privity of the accused as a means of forcing the person to submit.
Forcible sodomy is punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison.