|Kirt Yarbrough, Sr.|
By Paul J. Gately
BELTON - A former Killeen police officer accused of having sex with a 16-year-old girl was sentenced to five years in prison Monday evening after the jury found him guilty of sexual assault.
The jury came back with their decision after three hours of deliberation.
The punishment phase in the trial of Kirt Yarbrough, Sr., a 16-year-veteran of the Killeen department, began around 1 p.m. in 426th State District Court in Belton, prosecutor Shelly Strimple said.
Jury deliberation for sentencing began Monday morning after a weeklong trial that concluded with final arguments last Friday.
Yarbrough was arrested in January and charged with sexual assault in connection with what authorities described as an inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old member of the Killeen Police Department's Explorer Scout Program.
Yarbrough was fired through an indefinite suspension after an internal investigation that found that he violated several department policies including having an improper relationship with the participant in the Explorer program and untruthfulness, police said Monday.
The firing came less than two weeks after the Bell County Grand Jury indicted Yarbrough for sexual assault.
Yarbrough, also is facing an aggravated sexual assault charge in Coryell County stemming from an incident involving the same girl in Copperas Cove.
The Boy Scouts of American created the Explorer program in 1949, consolidating several programs designed for senior scouts.
By the mid-60s, the focus of the program was more toward careers.
Exploring was replaced by Venturing in 1998.