A Burkburnett woman was found guilty of 16 counts of child abuse Wednesday in 30th district court after deliberating for more than 11 hours over two days.
The prosecution said Sara Woody faced 26 counts because of the alleged abuse on many different occasions.
Woody was accused of abusing her stepsons, then 12-years-old and 7-years-old, in 2016 by burning their tongues with a lighter, and forcing them to lick a toilet bowl among other things for taking food.
In the defense’s closing arguments, Reggie Wilson said there are plenty of reasons to doubt the accusations made by the boys, and said Woody is not a violent person and the state wants people to believe she is a “sadistic torturer.” Wilson said when the boys went to their grandparents home after Child Protective Services put them there they noticed how different life was and made up accusations.
In the prosecution’s closing arguments John Gillespie said Woody tortured the children and had her daughter help. Gillespie said Woody lied on the stand, where she showed inappropriate behavior by giggling when asked if she forced the boys to lick the toilet bowl.
Mental health professionals took the stand during the trial and claimed the children didn’t only suffer from emotional abuse but are suffering from PTSD, too.
Sara Woody pleaded not guilty to the 26 counts of abuse.