Shurbet agrees to 45-year sentence

By Brian Knox | Published Saturday, July 5, 2014

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A former Wise County jailer will be behind bars for years to come.

Jeff Shurbet

Former Sheriff’s Office inmate work crew supervisor Jeff Shurbet, 48, of Paradise pleaded guilty Tuesday to aggravated sexual assault of a child, a first degree felony, and was sentenced to 45 years in prison. The plea was entered in 271st District Court in Decatur.

Shurbet’s case had been scheduled for trial next week.

He was arrested Feb. 1, 2013, while employed by the Sheriff’s Office. Texas Ranger Jim Holland was brought in to investigate since it involved someone employed by a law enforcement agency.

According to the probable cause affidavit, the sexual abuse took place possibly hundreds of times over a course of several years, from 2007 to 2011, according to the victim in the case. That victim was as young as 11 when the assaults began, according to court records.

Shurbet told Holland that “he prayed to God and wanted to confess his sins” according to the affidavit. During the interview, Shurbet admitted to engaging in sex acts with the juvenile female on seven different occasions.

“Shurbet ended the interview by saying he was sorry for what he did and that he knew what he did was wrong,” according to the affidavit.

The next day, Holland interviewed the juvenile female who said she was forced to submit to sexual encounters “once or twice a week for at least approximately the preceding four years.” At times, the encounters happened almost daily, the victim said in the affidavit.

Shurbet was indicted in April of 2013 on one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14, a first degree felony, and three counts of sexual assault of a child, a second degree felony.

The punishment range for a first degree felony offense is 5 to 99 years or life in prison.

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