District Attorney Will Ramsay comments on the sentencing of Franklin Coy Kuhl, Jr.:
On February 1, 2014, Franklin Coy Kuhl, Jr., 49, took a young girl who had just days earlier turned 14 to a motel in Hunt County where he had sex with her. During the trial, the state presented evidence that the relationship between Mr. Kuhl and the child had been ongoing for some time. Text messages were produced between the Defendant and the victim wherein the defendant told the (at the time, 13 year old) child that he was in love with her. The victim testified that she and Mr. Kuhl had been sexually active for some time prior to the February 1st incident.
At the time of the offense in 2014, Mr. Kuhl was on parole for 3 prior felony convictions out of Hopkins County where he was sentenced in 2003 and 2004 to 15, 25 and 30 years in the penitentiary. Mr. Kuhl had been to prison 3 times beginning in the mid-80’s. Also, prior to the offense but while he was on parole for the aforementioned prison sentences, he was placed on probation in 2010 out of Dallas County for stabbing a man. This was Mr. Kuhl’s history when he began to groom and manipulate a 13 year old girl who was living with him and his wife in 2013.
After deceiving the victim’s mother by telling her that he was taking the victim to his work site in order to play with another man’s daughter, he drove the victim to a motel in Hunt County where he rented a room for the day so he and the victim could engage in sexual activity.
The defendant was charged in Hunt County for the offense of Sexual Assault. He pleaded guilty and received an agreed-to sentence of 12 years in the penitentiary.
The defendant was charged in Hopkins County with the offense of Trafficking a Child. This offense consists of transporting a child by any means and causing that child to engage in sexual assault.
“I was surprised when the defendant pled guilty on Tuesday morning before we began testimony. But the evidence against him was overwhelming. We still presented our complete case to the jury so that they would have a full understanding of exactly what kind of individual they were dealing with.”
“This jury could have passed the buck and given Mr. Kuhl a light sentence because he had already been convicted of the actual sexual assault in Hunt County. I felt strongly about the case because this was a Hopkins County man who abused a Hopkins County child. He just decided to take her across the county line where he thought he could commit this evil act and get away with it. The jury was asked to send a message that we will protect our children even if a pedophile transports them somewhere else to sexual abuse them. Because this Hopkins County jury responded with justice, Mr. Kuhl will no longer be able to hurt people.”
A jury deliberated roughly an hour and forty minutes before returning a verdict of Life in Prison.