Former reporter gets 12 years with guilty plea

Published on Friday, 4 April 2014 17:12 - Written by Kenneth Dean kdean@tylerpaper.com

Former Tyler Morning Telegraph sports writer Harold Lamonte Wilson entered a guilty plea and received a 12-year sentence for sexual assault of a child from District Judge Christi Kennedy on Friday.

Wilson, 35, was arrested in June when he turned himself in to Tyler police on an arrest warrant. He later was released on a $100,000 bond.

An affidavit in the case detailed the allegations against Wilson, alleging he had been having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old John Tyler High School student.

The two went to the same church, and the girl told a church elder she and Wilson had been in a physical relationship.

Smith County prosecutors in the case asked for 15 years, but Wilson’s counsel, Houston-based sex crimes attorney Paul Darrow, asked the court for probation for his client. 

During the court appearance Friday, Wilson acknowledged he was wrong for his part of the relationship, but prosecutors argued Wilson was still trying to lay blame on the victim, saying she “pursued him.”

Judge Kennedy said there were several items of evidence in the case that caused her “great concern." 

Wilson also was ordered to register as a sex offender and follow all sex offender guidelines once he is released from prison. 

Upon Judge Kennedy’s sentence, several of Wilson’s family members had to be escorted from the courtroom due to outbursts.

Wilson was then remanded into the custody of the Smith County Sheriff and placed into the Smith County Jail.