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East Texas woman gets 30 years in child sex case

By Sarah Thomas sthomas@news-journal.com
Nov. 5, 2013 at 11 p.m.


An Athens woman will spend the next 30 years behind bars after pleading guilty Tuesday to aggravated sexual assault a child.

Peggy Weinberg, 27, appeared Tuesday in the Gregg County 188th District Court where she pleaded guilty aggravated sexual assault of a child and sexual performance by a child. Weinberg was sentenced to two 30-year prison sentences that will run concurrently.

She must serve each day of the first 30-year sentence. She will be 57 years old before she is eligible for release. She must also register as a sex offender.

Weinberg, along with Jesse Dale Smith, 34, and Cassandra Stone, 32, were arrested in September 2012 after police began investigating a Child Protective Services report, according to arrest affidavits filed in the Gregg County District Clerk's Office.

The indictment filed in the 124th District Court stated that Weinberg aided Smith and was present when the child was assaulted and undressed the child, according to a criminal complaint filed in the 188th District Court.

The trio was charged with abusing the same child.

Smith, of Kilgore, was sentenced earlier this year to 35 years in prison on one count of aggravated sexual assault of a child younger than 3 and one count of possession and promotion of child pornography. He is not eligible for parole.

The charges stem from a September 2012 arrest at Smith's home in the 400 block of Private Road 3526 in Kilgore, according to his arrest affidavit.

Smith told officers he had child pornography on his cell phone and gave officers consent to search the phone at the time of his arrest, according to an offense report from the Gregg County Sheriff's Office.

During searches of Smith's phone and home, police said they found images of child pornography on his cell phone and images of children, ages 2 to 17, engaging in various sexual acts with adults and minors, including pictures of Smith molesting a 2-year-old child, according to the offense report.

Smith later told officers he used his phone to download more than 100 pornographic images of children, the offense stated.

Two others were indicted in connection to the sexual assault of the same child.

Stone remains in the Gregg County Jail under $250,000 bond charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child. No trial date has been set.

<em>- Follow Sarah Thomas on Twitter: <a href="https://twitter.com/sarahLNJ" target="_blank">@SarahLNJ</a></em>

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