An Upshur County Jury has returned a maximum sentence of eight (8) Life sentences with each sentence carrying a$10,000.00 Fine against a 37-year-old man, Thomas Alan Auld (W/M, D.O.B. 04/20/1984), for eight separate counts ofIndecency With a Child committed against a 10 year-old female relative. The Jury began hearing testimony Wednesdayof this week and after a two-day trial, returned a verdict of guilty for all eight counts contained in the Indictment. Thenafter hearing evidence in Punishment, the Jury assessed the maximum sentence at Life in prison.

In 2019, between the months of March and August, the defendant had access to the child who was his relative andduring times he drove her home, he began playing Truth or Dare games that led to Dare or Die. He would take thechild’s hand and place it on his exposed private area and then would do the same to her. Evidence showed that there wasa time period that the defendant lived with the victim and her family and while babysitting, he touched the child andused a candy item called Fun Dip to try to make the child touch him.

Additionally, the State was able to prove that another cousin, who was 15 at the time, was forcibly touched in herprivate area by the defendant. Further, a child who was 11 at the time and now 17, told the Jury under Oath that she wasalso isolated by the defendant to play Truth or Dare and that led to inappropriate truths being revealed by the defendantwith a threat of not to tell.

The victim in this case was 10 when the abuse began and during trial took the stand and told the Jury what her Uncledid to her. The defense attempted to try and show the time line of events could not be accurate, yet the Jury did notbelieve that evidence. The child out-cried to a friend in confidence who then told her mother. That mother alerted thevictim’s mom. Otherwise, the abuse would likely continue today. Since telling of her abuse, the child, like so manyothers, has attempted to take her own life two times. She is and will remain under counselors’ and doctors’ care for along period of time.

This charge is normally a Second Degree felony. However, the defendant has already served prison time for Burglary ofa Habitation and jail time for stealing food stamps. The District Attorney’s Office filed a Notice to Enhance Punishmentbecause of his prior offenses.

The State was represented District Attorney, Billy W. Byrd, and was assisted by Amber Mitchell. The defense wasrepresented by local attorney, Matthew Patton. Judge Dean Fowler presided over all phases of the trial.

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