Texas man gets 10 life sentences for extreme torture of children

GAINESVILLE, TX – A Texas resident has been convicted of heinous child abuse, the severity of which has been likened to the torture endured by prisoners of war during the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. David Calhoun, 38, was found guilty of subjecting several of his stepchildren and nephews to extreme physical and psychological torment in his Gainesville trailer home.

The Cooke County District Attorney’s Office reported that the jury took under an hour to find Calhoun guilty on multiple charges, including five counts of child sexual assault, seven counts of aggravated assault, and one count of assault by strangulation.

The severity of Calhoun’s crimes led to a swift decision on his punishment. The jury handed down ten life sentences, a ten-year sentence, and two 20-year sentences, all to run concurrently.

Cooke County prosecutor Eric Erlandson expressed his horror at the case, stating that the prolonged and brutal nature of the abuse was the worst he had ever seen. He praised the resilience and courage of the young victims, who endured unimaginable torture over a six-year period.

The abuse began in 2017 when Calhoun started caring for his nephews. The case came to light in 2022 when police discovered Calhoun’s 16-year-old nephew in a Nebraska hotel room with several unrelated adults. The boy had run away from home to escape the abuse and bore physical scars of the torture he had endured.

Further investigations revealed that the abuse had occurred across several East Texas cities and involved multiple victims in Calhoun’s household. The Cooke County District Attorney’s Office described the abuse as “Intrafamilial Child Torture,” a term usually reserved for the treatment of prisoners of war.

Two other adults, including Calhoun’s wife, Ashley Calhoun, have also been indicted in connection to the case and are due to face trial next month.