Ethan Charles Stringer pled guilty to indecency with a child by contact, a second degree felony. Stringer engaged in sexual contact with a child under 17 years of age by touching the victim's genitals on March 17, 2012.
The victim, the victim's mother and the victim’s father each gave impact statements at the court proceedings on Monday.
The victim's mother went first with her statement, addressing Stringer in front of the court. "Words cannot express the heartache and fear you have placed upon my family. No parent deserves to go through what we have gone through the past year and a half with our son," she said." Unfortunately, this will be a lifetime reminder to us of the cruel and horrible world we live in. There is no way that my son deserved what you did to him. That one night will haunt us for the rest of our lives. As time has passed and will continue to pass, we will only get stronger."
The victim's mother went on to say that she did not think that 10 years in prison is enough punishment for what Stringer had done to her son. "Ten years in prison is nothing compared to what my son has to deal with for the rest of his life. My son was only 10 years old when this happened. You took my son's innocence, dignity, confidence and trust and those things are not something he can regain overnight of ever at all."
The victim's mother said that she finds peace in knowing that Stringer will never be able to hurt any other child again and she knows that her son will sleep in peace at night knowing that "the horrible nightmare of a person" Stringer is will never be able to come close to him again.
"I have one last and final thing for you," she said. "In the Bible, God tells us that we are to forgive one another. When my day comes and I am standing before the pearly gates, I will have some explaining to do because you, Ethan Stringer, I will never forgive. I will never forgive you for what you have put my family through, but more importantly, I will never forgive you for what you did to my son.
Judge Glen Harrison then read a letter to Stringer from the victim's father. "I cannot begin to tell you how you made life hard for my family. You put on a false face and fooled a lot of people. But the only fool here is you. My son is stronger than you will ever be. We all have the satisfaction of knowing that you are going away for a long time. You are a menace to society and deserve more time. But you will have your time and my family will be happy knowing that. I don't have a lot to say to you. You don't deserve my effort. Good riddance."
Judge Harrison then read a letter from the victim to Stringer. "I will never forgive you for what you have done to me. What you did to me was bad. The night it happened I didn't know what to do. What you did made me scared. I was uncomfortable with what happened and couldn't tell my parents or anyone else for a while. Right after everything happened I came back to Sweetwater and I got so scared because I thought you were still here," he said.
The victim stated that he had many nightmares and in them he could see what happened all over again. "Sometimes I still have those nightmares. It is getting a little easier for me and I am starting to get stronger now that time has passed. I have been able to tell my story to some of my friends and that makes me feel better. As I am trying to get past all of this I am getting stronger. I do feel sorry for the other boys and hope they will get stronger and get past it. I do not feel like 10 years in prison is enough punishment for what you did to me and the other boys. What you did to me and to them was not right and not our fault. I will never forgive you for what you have done."
After the impact statements, Judge Harrison sentenced Stringer to 10 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. He will also have to pay a $2,000 fine, $777 in court costs and $500 in attorney's fees. He will receive 68 days credit or time already served in jail.