A Duncan man was sentenced Wednesday, Aug. 7 to 10 years in Department of Corrections custody after pleading guilty to child sexual abuse in late May.
According to court records, David Craig Bernard, now 27, was sentenced to 25 years with all but the first 10 years suspended. Upon completion of his sentence, Bernard will have to register as a sex offender and pay fines while remaining under probation for no longer than three years.
Originally, Bernard entered a plea of not guilty on Nov. 9, 2018, and was set for trial, though he later waived the jury trial and plead guilty during a non-jury trial on May 28, 2019.
Records show police were made aware of the sexual abuse of minor in July 2018 and issued a warrant for his arrest. It is reported Bernard later turned himself into the Stephens County Sheriff’s office. The victim said they had been grabbed and touched by Bernard on multiple occasions and forced to touch Bernard also.
Records show the abuse lasted for two years and the victim didn’t tell anyone for fear of thinking no one would believe them. Documents show the victim spoke out when they noticed a sibling receiving attention from Bernard and feared for their safety.
Officers learned during the investigation that Bernard was confronted by family members. He begged for forgiveness from one family member and also admitted to another family member of unlawfully touching the victim, Banner reports indicate.