Mineral Wells Area News

Mineral Wells Man Convicted of Molesting Girl in Parker and Palo Pinto Counties; Sentenced to 38 Years in Prison

Mineral Wells Man Convicted of Molesting Girl in Parker and Palo Pinto Counties; Sentenced to 38 Years in Prison
January 14
02:08 2023

Press release from Parker County District Attorney

          A Parker County jury convicted a 31-year-old Mineral Wells man of repeatedly molesting a girl starting when she was 12-years-old in both Parker and Palo Pinto Counties and sentenced him to 38 years in prison.

                David Shaun Gates was convicted of continuous sexual abuse of a young child and indecency with a child.  Jurors heard testimony Tuesday and Wednesday and deliberated several hours Wednesday before finding him guilty of both counts.  Later that same day, they assessed his sentence at 38 years in prison for the continuous abuse offense and 10 years plus a $1,000 fine for the indecency charge.

                “The strong message sent by this jury on behalf of our community and our victim will result in Mr. Gates remaining in prison until the year 2061,” said District Attorney Jeff Swain.  “Parker County juries have consistently supported our prosecutors and victims on these very difficult cases.  Child molesters need to know that their conduct will not be tolerated in our county.”

                The case began when the victim made an outcry in the fall of 2020 to her Mineral Wells High School counselor.  The counselor contacted Child Protective Services and made a report.  CPS set up a forensic interview at the Children’s Alliance Center for Palo Pinto County.  In the wake of the interview, the Mineral Wells and Weatherford Police Departments investigated the case and arrested Gates.

                “In the trial, our victim described for jurors how the defendant repeatedly molested her in Weatherford and Mineral Wells in his home, his car, and even outside,” said Assistant District Attorney Mallory Vincent, who tried the case with Assistant District Attorney Susan Pruett.  “Mr. Gates exploited our victim’s unstable home life for a period of months before the sexual abuse began.  Then he continued manipulating her throughout the three years of abuse by being there for her when, unfortunately, she didn’t have anyone else.”

                The defense called Gates’ fiancée at the time of the abuse, who testified that the victim was not at their home when she claimed Gates molested her.  She also said that the defendant was with her at night when the victim said the abuse occurred.

                Gates’ mother testified that her son worked and was with her at all times of day and night and, therefore, it was not possible for him to have molested the victim.

                On cross-examination, Vincent and Pruett, respectively, pointed out numerous inconsistencies and contradictions with the fiancée and mother’s testimony.  

                “I’m so glad that the victim has finally received the justice she deserves,” Pruett said.  “Her own family was not supportive of her, so it is really meaningful for her to know that she was believed, her story has been validated, and that she matters.”

There is no parole for defendants convicted of continuous sexual abuse of a young child, Swain said.  The two sentences will run concurrently. 

The case was tried in the 43rd District Court, Judge Craig Towson presiding.