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Man sentenced to 43 years in prison, must register as sex offender after being convicted of continuous sexual assault of a child

The jury spent less than an hour Thursday afternoon deliberating the punishment of Albert Wendell Sells.

BEAUMONT, Texas — A Beaumont man convicted of continuous sexual abuse of a child has been sentenced to 43 years.

The jury spent less than an hour Thursday afternoon deliberating the punishment of Albert Wendell Sells following a three-day trial before Judge John Stevens.

Sells will also have to register as a sex offender.

Sells still faces an additional nine other counts including sexual assault of a child, indecency with a child and continuous sexual abuse of a child that have not yet gone to trial. A date for those cases has not yet been set.

Sells was indicted on nine counts in 2019 and an additional count was filed in 2021.

On Thursday, Wells was found guilty of continuous sexual assault of a child. 

During close arguments on Thursday, the defense attorney told the jury that the prosecution presented a puzzle with pieces missing and pieces that don’t fit.  He said testimony about what the defendant may have done with people other than the young girl were not part of this puzzle.

“Mr. Sells needs you to focus on the case that we are here for,” he told the jury.

The defense attorney referred to the case as a “he-said, she-said” case.

Prosecutor Tatiana Zelezniak responded in her closing arguments by telling jury members they should consider all of the puzzle pieces that were presented in court. She reminded them of testimony from witnesses who said they too, were abused by the defendant..

The trial began Tuesday, with Judge John Stevens presiding. Sells sat quietly in a courtroom as the indictment was read.

When asked by the Judge Stevens how he would plea, Sells said, “not guilty.”

Zelezniak began opening statements by telling the jury they would hear testimony about the reality of child sexual abuse. She said the jury would also hear about how a girl faced, “almost routine abuse.”

Zelezniak said the victim was told to respect her elders by people who did not realize what was happening to her, until she was old enough to know what was happening was not normal.

The defense attorney told the jury they will hear facts and evidence in a tough case. The attorney said there were many opportunities where the victim could have made an outcry but did not until she was an adult.

The defense attorney said the jury will learn there is no physical evidence and not enough “pieces in this puzzle,” to find Sells guilty. He said the jury would be the ultimate judge. 

Sells faces anywhere from 25 to 99 years or life in prison and a $10,00 fine. The jury will decide his punishment. 

This is a developing story. We will update with more if and when we receive more confirmed information.

Credit: JCSO

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This is a developing story. We will update with more if and when we receive more confirmed information. 

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