Father Sentenced To Jail For Molesting Children

A father convicted of molesting children is going to prison, the 10News I-Team reported Tuesday.

Henry Parsons, Jr., was sentenced to six years in state prison for sex offenses against children.

When the I-Team first reported the case, the courts treated the case as a battle between an ex-husband and an ex-wife. The ex-wife's concerns over his behavior were ignored, until he was arrested for molesting his young daughter's friend.

"Mr. Parsons, your acts were certainly reprehensible," Judge Robert Kearney told Parsons as he sentenced the father of three. "It's exactly this type of crime that's a nightmare for parents," he continued. "You certainly have earned every day of the sentence."

Parsons admitted his crimes in May when he pleaded guilty to two counts of sex with a child under 14, one count of child molestation for annoying a girl under 18.

"Children's lives have been ruined," said Joyce Murphy, Parsons' ex-wife and the mother of their daughter, Sarah. "Family lives have been ruined."

"It has been seven years of personal hell," said Murphy who once kidnapped her daughter to keep the girl away from Parsons. She was concerned about Parsons' sexual fantasies involving little children and nightmares from his time in the Vietnam War.

Outside the court, Murphy's supporters protested the family court system, saying more needs to be done to protect kids from abuse. Murphy wishes Parsons' sentence were longer. Still, she's relieved he's going to prison.

"I wish children had not been damaged," Murphy said. "I feel vindicated at this point."

But not everyone agreed with the sentence.

"He is not a monster as previously stated," said Debra Hicks, Parsons' other ex-wife with whom he raised two children. Hicks says Parsons is a good man whose emotional breakdown led him to molest.

"This is not his true character," said Hicks.

Originally, Parsons was accused of molesting one child, but the investigation led to two more victims. Murphy, who was prosecuted for kidnapping their daughter and then only allowed supervised visitation for years, was finally granted full permanent custody of Sarah.

Parsons now has two strikes under California's Three Strikes law. If he commits another felony, Parsons could face 25 years to life in prison.