FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) — A convicted sex offender who has admitted to sexually abusing at least 30 boys during his life has been sentenced to life in prison for violating a civil commitment order.
Todd William Mitchell, 55, has six previous felony convictions for sexually abusing children. He was released from prison in 2011 and ordered to live at the Cold Springs Facility in Fort Worth, where he was required to follow the rules and participate in a sex offender treatment program.
Mitchell was terminated from the program for failing to make progress and repeatedly violating the rules. Mitchell’s case was referred to the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution. A jury needed just 30 minutes to convict Mitchell of violating his civil order, and 15 minutes to sentence him to life in prison.
During the trial, jurors heard that Mitchell had admitted to sexually abusing at least 30 boys during his life, nine of whom authorities never found out about. He also admitted to engaging in sexual acts with cats, dogs and a donkey.
Mitchell described his history at length during trial, telling jurors he started sexually abusing young boys while living in New York. Once he moved to Texas, Mitchell owned an ice cream business and admitted to using the truck to lure young boys.
“This defendant is the definition of a sexually violent predator and is the reason this law was passed,” said Assistant District Attorney Lloyd Whelchel in a release. “Justice may have been a long time coming for his many victims, but this jury finally made sure that justice was served.”
According to the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office, sexually violent predators typically face a maximum of 10 years in prison for violating their civil commitment. Because of Mitchell’s history — including additional drug offenses — he faced up to life in prison. The verdict marked the first time that a Tarrant County juror handed down such a sentence.
Mitchell was initially sentenced to 14 years in prison for sexually abusing boys and was released in 2006. He was convicted of violating his civil commitment order in 2009 and sent back to prison.
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