McKINNEY, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A Collin County jury sentenced man from The Colony to 60 years in prison without the possibility of parole for continuous sexual abuse of a child.

Joel Thomas Dies, 36, sexually abused the victim over the course of four years starting when the child was 5 years old, the Collin County DA’s Office said in a news release Thursday, Oct. 29.

Joel Thomas Dies (credit: Collin County DA’s Office)

“This predator can no longer hide behind his manipulation because the child had the courage to expose ‘their secret’ and report his terrible abuse,” Collin County DA Greg Willis said after the sentencing.

Dies told the child to keep the abuse “their secret.”

But the child told her mother, who took the child to see a therapist who then reported the abuse to Child Protective Services and Plano Police.

The child was forensically interviewed at the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County, where the child disclosed details about the ongoing abuse.

During the criminal investigation, law enforcement learned that Dies sexually abused another child several years prior.

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