Skip to main content

Man sentenced for sexual abuse of a child that went on for several years after mother allegedly said she didn’t believe her daughter and was ‘done with’ her

Cody Sullivan appears in a mugshot

Cody Sullivan appears in a mugshot from May 2020. (Lubbock County Detention Center)

A Texas man was sentenced to decades in prison on Friday for the continuous sexual abuse of a child believed to have spanned years.

Cody Sullivan, 35, was charged with eight counts of child abuse in an indictment handed up by a Lubbock County grand jury in May 2020.

According to local CBS affiliate KLBK, Sullivan was initially arrested and charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child younger than 14. He was subject to eight combined counts of child abuse-related charges, according to local NBC affiliate KCBD.

Police allege that Sullivan committed sexual abuse against the child for seven years between 2012 and 2019.

According to court records obtained by local media outlets, the defendant was in a relationship with the victim’s mother for the entirety of the abuse. And, police allege, she tried to protect him.

In court records obtained by KLBK, the sexual abuse was initially reported to the Lubbock Police Department in April 2019 by a physician. When initially questioned by the doctor, the victim’s mother said that her child had previously told her about the sexual abuse.

That story, however, allegedly changed when the victim’s mother was later questioned by law enforcement, court documents said.

The child’s mother allegedly told police that the victim never said anything about sexual abuse. When pressed by investigators about those conflicting narratives, the victim’s mother allegedly said she was under the mistaken belief they were asking her about something else.

At one point, according to court documents, the victim’s mother “asked for ‘proof’ that [the victim was] not lying” and asked police if she needed a lawyer. The victim’s mother also allegedly said she was “done with” her child due to the allegations, calling them lies.

In a phone interview with law enforcement, the victim’s mother allegedly said she did not believe her child’s claims because they had sexual allegations against her biological father and her father’s mother when the family previously lived in Oklahoma.

Police in Lubbock said they reached out to corresponding law enforcement officials in the neighboring state and were told that no such reports had ever been filed that lined up with what the victim’s mother had described about those earlier allegations.

The victim told police the abuse began when they were five or six years old, court records say. The victim alleged that Sullivan touched her inappropriately over the years.

See also: Texas Man Convicted of Sexual Abuse Charges After Parent Discovered’ Letter Their Child Had Written to God’

The defendant’s plea came as something of a surprise in the case.

On Friday, Sullivan took a plea amid jury deliberations in his trial which had recently ended. Those deliberations were cut short when he pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated sexual assault of a child.

He was sentenced to 30 years in prison. He will be eligible for parole after completing 15 years of his sentence.

Sullivan will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release. The judge also issued a protective order for the victim.

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow Law&Crime: