Former Wichita Falls prosecutor Grace Pandithurai obtained a conviction and then a 50-year sentence against a man in Ellis County, Texas on Monday, December 14, 2015 for continuous sexual abuse of a child, according to the Ellis County Citizen newspaper recently. William Kyle Anderson, 37, of Ennis, Texas was found guilty of continuous sexual abuse of a young child by a jury. Deliberations on the case lasted for approximately an hour. The same jury returned later to assess a 50-year sentence to the man they convicted.
Pandithurai previously worked in the Wichita County District Attorney’s Office for several years. She was assigned to the 30th District Court in Wichita Falls presided over by Judge Bob Brotherton at that time before she later accepted her current position in the Ellis County District Attorney’s Office.
The victim was only five years of age in 2012 when the defendant forced her to engage in several sexual acts. A child of that age cannot legally consent to such actions. The girl, who is now eight, recalled her memories of the traumatic events to the 12-person jury during the first day of the trial. Because of the severity of the offense, the defendant will have to serve the full 50 years locked up in an iron cage in the Texas prison system. He will be released when he is 87 unless something unforeseen occurs.
Pandithurai and fellow prosecutor Habon Mohamed thanked the jury for their verdict in the case. A common saying in these type cases is that victims are abused twice. First when they are victims of the crime itself, and then secondly when they have to face the stress of re-living the traumatic series of events in front of twelve strangers on a jury and whoever else may be in the courtroom.
In Wichita Falls there is a place called Patsy’s House in which victims of sexual crimes may report what has happened to them. Forensic counselors who are experts in the field are available to help victims recover from the traumatic events which have had to endure. For instructions on how to report child abuse one may click on the Patsy’s House website. One way to report it is by calling 1-800-252-5400.
People may also call the Wichita Falls Police Department and the Wichita County Sheriff’s Office if they become aware child abuse is being committed. Denise Roberts is the executive director of Patsy’s House.
Pandithurai was named the 2013 recipient of the Regent University Alumni Association’s Alumnus of the Year Award, according to Regent University. Although she first dreamed of starring on Broadway, her father dissuaded her from that goal. She remembers that, “My dad looked at me and said, ‘Indian people don’t do this; you can be a lawyer, a doctor or a computer scientist.”
Her father had a special interest in the United States’ legal system. He instilled in her a love of pursuing law and justice. She said, “Since my father was so passionate, I became passionate.” While with the Wichita Falls District Attorney’s Office she was charged with the emotionally-charging work as a prosecutor, representing children who are victims of sexual assault.
Of those days, she said, “I listened to a lot of worship music when I’m prepping cases. And I belt it out at the top of my lungs. ” In the midst of what she considered the “most heart-wrenching job” she’s ever had, it’s her Christian faith which holds her together.
Pandithurai has said in the past, “I think telling the truth gives the victim a little bit of power back, because they realize they’re probably preventing that from happening to somebody else. And I want them to know that they have someone who is going to fight tooth and nail to make sure that they get justice.”
The dedicated attorney remembered the story of the men who were determined enough in the pursuit of taking their paralyzed friend to the feet of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke. Just as they stopped short of nothing to ensure their friend had the opportunity to be healed, Pandithurai does all that she can to infuse hope into the victims she comes in contact with.”
“We all need to live our lives with that kind of passion and servant mindset that we’re willing to do whatever it takes to get others to the feet of Jesus. This is the life I want to live, not just professionally, but personally,” she said during the interview with Regent University.