A Dallas man with ties to the Dayton and Kenefick area, Billy Gene Shook III, 54, will spend the rest of his natural life in prison for the continuous sexual abuse of his stepchildren.
During his trial that begin earlier this week and was held in the 253rd State District courtroom of the Honorable Judge Chap Cain, jurors heard testimony from Shook’s three stepchildren regarding his grooming them in their adolescent years before initiating sexual acts in their pre-teen and teen years. He met the children’s mother in 2000 and moved the family to the Dayton area, where the sexual violations began.
“He started sexually assaulting the oldest daughter, then the second daughter and finally the son. He beat them, verbally abused them and sexually abused them,” said Liberty County District Attorney Jennifer Bergman. “There were no red flags in his criminal history before then.”
Eventually, around 10 years ago, the stepson made an outcry to his mom and sister. The crime was reported to the sheriff’s office but the investigation languished for a few years.
“In 2018, the daughters moved out of state and they reached out to the sheriff’s office and the district attorney’s office to see if there was any progress on the case,” Bergman said. “It became a priority.”
In 2019, Shook was indicted by a Liberty County grand jury on two counts of Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Young Child and one count of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child. He has been held in the Liberty County Jail on a $100,000 bond since January 2019.
In January 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic began, causing prosecution of all criminal cases across the state to be delayed for several months.
“This was one of the oldest cases the Liberty County DA’s office had. After the pandemic, we got it on the trial docket and pushed for it to be prosecuted,” Bergman said.
Earlier this week, the two of his three stepchildren were flown in from the Pacific West coast and Illinois to join the third sibling who lives in the area, and they faced their abuser, telling the grand jury how Shook raped them, forcing them to perform oral sex and forcing one daughter who was impregnated with Shook’s child to have an abortion.
“Everyone in the courtroom was moved by hearing their stories,” Bergman said.
The successful prosecution of the case and the subsequent life sentence without the eligibility of parole means that Shook will never again walk the streets as a free man.
“The cases were severed. We prosecuted him for the worst of the three, and he got life. The other two cases won’t go forward, but he will die in prison,” Bergman said.