Former Horseshoe Bay resident with past convictions gets life in child molestation case

FROM STAFF REPORTS

LLANO — A former Horseshoe Bay man with two Colorado convictions of sexual abuse of a child is heading to a Texas prison for life after a Llano County jury convicted him of molesting another child from 2013 to 2014.

Llano County District Judge Allan Garrett sentenced Russell Lee Burke, 57, to four life sentences after the jury found him guilty of four counts of indecency with a child by sexual contact on Dec. 17.

Burke will serve the four sentences concurrently, but under state law, he will not be eligible for parole until he is 92, “should he survive,” according to Llano County District Attorney Wiley “Sonny” McAfee’s office.

Burke repeatedly committed the offenses between 2012 and 2013 against one victim. The child was 7 at the time the molestation began, according to the district attorney’s office.

The man “befriended” the victim’s parents after the defendant moved to Horseshoe Bay from Colorado in 2011. Unbeknownst to the parents, Burke brought with him a history of molestation.

In 1994, Burke was convicted of sexually abusing two children in that state, who were about the same age of the current victim at the time the molestation started. In Colorado, Burke’s name was Hubert Lee Burke, but it was changed before the Texas offenses, the district attorney’s office stated.

Two of Burke’s Colorado victims traveled to Llano for the trial, where they testified against him. One of the victims told jurors Burke had abused her from 1985 to 1989.

McAfee and Assistant District Attorney Stacy Burke, who both prosecuted the case, agreed Burke is one of the worse pedophiles either has encountered in their careers.

McAfee said he believes this sentence sends a message to potential child predators that Llano County and the Highland Lakes community will severely punish those responsible for crimes against children.

The Hill Country Children’s Advocacy Center and the Horseshoe Bay Police Department also had a big hand in the investigation that led to defendant’s conviction, the district attorney stated.

editor@thepicayune.com

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