Texas man receives more than 10 life sentences for torturing his stepchildren and nephews

A Texas man was convicted of torturing children and received more than 10 life sentences for his crimes.

David Calhoun, 38, tortured several children in the same way prisoners of war and political prisoners were tortured during the Korean and Vietnam wars, prosecutors said, according to Fox 4. The abuse was inflicted on several of his stepchildren and nephews who lived with him. in a fifth wheel near Gainesville, Texas.

The Cooke County Prosecutor's Office said jurors deliberated for less than an hour Monday before convicting Calhoun of five counts of sexual assault of a child, seven counts of aggravated assault and one count strangulation charge for assault.

Jurors took about the same amount of time to determine Calhoun's sentence, 10 life sentences, one 10-year sentence and two 20-year sentences.


David Calhoun

David Calhoun, 38, was found guilty of five counts of sexual assault of a child, seven counts of aggravated assault and one count of assault strangulation. (Cooke County Jail)

“The prolonged period of torture that the defendant subjected the children to in this case is the worst abuse I have ever seen,” Cook County Prosecutor Eric Erlandson said. “The mental, psychological and physical torture they endured for almost six years is unimaginable.”

“The resilience and strength the children showed in this case is impressive. They never gave up and showed extraordinary courage from the start. The lasting legacy of this case is that evil will not prevail “Even when things seemed hopeless to the children, they were determined to have their stories heard,” Erlandson added.

The abuse began in 2017 when Calhoun began caring for his nephews, according to court documents.

Investigators discovered the abuse in 2022 after police found Calhoun's 16-year-old nephew in a Nebraska hotel room with several unrelated adults.

The boy told police he ran away from home to escape extreme physical and psychological abuse. He showed them scars all over his body and described instances where he was tied up for days, set on fire with gasoline, beaten with a metal pipe, stabbed with a kitchen knife, and burned on his face and parts. genitals almost daily with a lighter or knife. a cattle prod.

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Prisoner behind prison cell bars

David Calhoun received 10 life sentences, one 10-year sentence and two 20-year sentences. (iStock)

The teen said Calhoun used a Channellock to remove his fingernails and toenails. He also said Calhoun knocked out several of his teeth with brass knuckles and wrapped a hair tie around his testicles for 24 hours.

Investigators later discovered evidence that the abuse had occurred in several East Texas towns and that several children and adults in the home had been victims of Calhoun's abuse.


“The abuse escalated until it peaked in the summer of 2022 in Cooke County, Texas,” the Cooke County Prosecutor’s Office said. “At that time, the abuse was described by Pamela Miller, senior policy analyst at the APSAC Center for Child Policy, as intra-family torture of children – which is almost indistinguishable from the type of torture that prisoners war and political prisoners suffered during the Korean War and the Vietnam War.”

Calhoun's wife, Ashley Calhoun, and another adult living in the home were also charged for their alleged connection to the case. They are expected to go to trial next month.


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