BUNNELL, Fla. - A 21-year-old man faces a mandatory life sentence following his 24 convictions of sex-related crimes against children, officials said Wednesday.
A jury in Flagler County deliberated for 18 minutes before finding Paul Dykes guilty of the 24 counts.
Dykes had been accused of sexual battery on a child, possessing child pornography and working with a co-defendant to commit sexual battery on a child, investigators said.
“In 37 years of being involved in the criminal justice system, this is one of the most reprehensible
cases I have ever seen,” state attorney R.J. Larizza said after the verdicts were handed down. “The sickening and horrific facts of this case are beyond comprehension. Our hope and wish is that our child victim will be free to live safely and securely in a protected environment.”
Dykes and a friend were accused of performing sex acts on a child and possessing images of sexual acts involving children. The co-defendant in the case, 23-year-old Erin Vickers, was convicted of similar charges in September.
The jury, made up of six women, heard two days of testimony and arguments before retiring to a short deliberation.
Dykes will be sentenced at a later date.
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