100-year term for mentally disabled Paris man questioned

By: KXII-TV Staff Email
By: KXII-TV Staff Email

PARIS, Texas (AP) - Attorneys and advocates are questioning why an 18-year-old East Texan with profound mental disabilities was sentenced to 100 years in prison in a child sex abuse case.

The Dallas Morning News reports a neighbor in Paris found Aaron Hart fondling her 6-year-old stepson in September. He was convicted on five counts from the incident.

Hart had no criminal record, has an IQ of 47 and was diagnosed as mentally disabled as a child. He never learned to read or write and speaks unsteadily.

Texas Tech law professor Daniel Benson called Hart's punishment absurd. Repeat child molesters and rapists have routinely received
lighter sentences.

Advocates say counseling, probation or placement in a group home
would have been more appropriate.

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