Texas Snake Owner Accused Of Sex Abuse Facing Child Porn Charges

Barbara Schwarz
June 27, 2019 - 4:02 pm
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DALLAS (KRLD) - A North Central Texas man is jailed for continuous sexual abuse of a child, a 14-year-old girl. He has also been indicted by a federal grand jury on child pornography charges. 

34-year-old Derek Ward of Whitney in Hill County is alleged to have sexually abused the girl at least twice over a two year period which is a state case and a first-degree felony. 

Whitney police chief Chris Bentley says the minimum sentence for that charge is 25 years with no chance of parole.  

Bentley says agents went to Ward's residence to serve a search warrant and found a collection of snakes in his bedroom.

"There was a couple of cobras, there were some pythons, a couple of rattlesnakes." He says of the 20 plus snakes, 17 were venomous.  

He said all had been very well taken care of and there's an ordinance against such snakes. 

Bentley says Ward was very concerned about the snakes and was pleased they went to places they would be taken care of. Some went to zoos and some were released at a refuge.