Ex-Big Country corrections officer sentenced for indecency with a child

ABILENE, Texas - An ex-corrections officer on trial for indecency with a child was sentenced to a 10-year probated prison term.

Richard Avants, 49, worked at the Middleton prison unit in Hamby and was arrested in 2011 after an underage girl told adults Avants allegedly touched her inappropriately.

The jury of nine women and three men decided on a guilty verdict Thursday. At about 4:30 p.m. Friday, the jury gave a unanimous verdict to sentence Avants to 10 years in prison--based on the successful completion of his probation--and a $10,000 fine. 

Judge Lee Hamilton ruled Avants pay the fine and serve 15 days in the Taylor County Jail as part of his probation and register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Avants was taken into custody shortly after the verdict was read. 

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