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Boone man sentenced to maximum penalty of 120 years for multiple counts of Sexual Abuse

Boone County District Court Judge John Flynn on Monday sentenced Tommy Collins to the maximum 120 years in prison on five counts of sexual abuse of three young girls.

"This is a life sentence in terms of practicality, but it is one that you earned," Flynn told the 66-year-old Collins. He faces a possible mandatory minimum sentence of 35 years.

His wife, Sharon Collins, also was charged in connection with the abuse. She was found guilty in a separate trial in July of two counts of child endangerment causing bodily injury.

Boone County Attorney Matt Speers told the judge Monday that the abuse went on for years. One of the girls had a disability and used a wheelchair, Speers said. 

"He presented himself as a good, God-fearing man," Speers said. "Dying in jail, I don't think that's enough. He abused these victims hundreds, if not thousands of times over eight to nine years."

Flynn said he considered several elements before deciding on the sentence, including Collins' age, his past criminal history, the nature of the offenses and the harm done to the victims.

"You manipulated these three victims," Flynn said in his sentencing statement.

"What you have been found guilty of doing is clearly against any religious principles of any religion. I don't think there's any debate about this. This sentence is needed to protect these victims and the community," the judge said.

Two made victim impact statements in court. The Ames Tribune is not identifying them.

"I don't feel sorry for you," one said.

She went on to say that she is "thriving" and her family is giving her unconditional love.

"I can do anything I want to. I know at the end of the day they are going to have my back and I can go to them and be honest with them," she said. 

The other said, "I hope that the rest of your life you have to live with someone being in control of you. God will bring every deed into judgement. You don't scare me anymore and I hope you get treated like you treated us for the rest of your life."

Collins made no statement to the court.

Charges were filed against him in August 2021. 

He was found guilty of continuous sexual abuse of a child, two counts of second-degree sexual abuse and two counts of third-degree sexual abuse. All are felonies.

The jury found Collins not guilty of lascivious acts with a child and indecent contact with a child over clothing.

Sharon Collins will be sentenced Sept. 21.

Teresa Kay Albertson

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