Former North Texas banker linked to missing teen sentenced to 30 years for abusing him

A former North Texas banker named a person of interest in the 2015 disappearance of a local 18-year-old was sentenced Wednesday to 30 years in federal prison for preying on the boy when he was a juvenile, a federal prosecutor said.

U.S. District Judge Reed C. O’Connor sentenced 59-year-old Ricky Dale Howard of Nocona to prison on a charge of sexual exploitation of a child.

Howard had pleaded guilty to the charge in July.

“The vast majority of sexually exploited children were victimized by an adult they know and trust — and the young man in this case was no different. While we may never know what happened to him in the moments before his disappearance, we know he spent many months enduring the unthinkable,” said Texas Northern District Acting U.S. Attorney Chad Meacham in a Wednesday news release. “We continue to pray that one day, he will be found. In the meantime, we hope today’s sentence brings a measure of solace to the family and friends who loved him. We are proud to put this sexual predator behind bars.”

The Nocona man entered the plea just hours after a judge in Fort Worth declared a mistrial because of a medical issue with a juror in July. Nocona is about 90 miles northwest of Fort Worth.

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Source: Star Telegram