Abilene man sentenced to life for graphic child sex crime denied new trial

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) - An Abilene man sentenced to serve life behind bars for a graphic sexual assault of a child case has been denied a new trial.

Howard Sturgis, 56, convicted for Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child in November, asked for a new trial Tuesday but was denied that request by Taylor County Judge Lee Hamilton. 

Sturgis' codefendant, Chelsea Diaz, 29, pleaded guilty to Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child and was sentenced to serve 25-years behind bars.

The couple is accused of subjecting two young girls to various acts of sexual abuse for years.

Court documents claim one victim told detectives the couple would make the children sniff "spray" from a rag during some of these incidents.

Additional details on the allegations surrounding this case, which are explicit and should be read with discretion, can be found in a previous article published on BigCountryHomepage.com

Another charge was issued after a victim came forward and claimed Sturgis sexually assaulted her several times a year for three years beginning in May of 2007, and a third charge was issued after an additional victim told detectives Sturgis had inappropriate sexual contact with her for years beginning when she was 8-years-old in 1993. 

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