Ex-soldier who sexually abused girl, 12, and molested a dog 'after suffering PTSD' sentenced to 14 years behind bars

A SOLDIER suffering from PTSD was jailed for 14 years on Thursday after he molested a 12-year-old girl and had sex a dog.

Philip Samuel Mercon, a 30-year-old from Waco, Texas, was jailed after he took a plea bargain and pled guilty to three counts of indecency with a child by contact and one count of bestiality.

Judge Susan Kelly of 54th State District Court accepted Mercon's plea agreement, sentencing him to three-concurrent 14-year prison terms.

Mercon, a former soldier in the US Army who served three years in Afghanistan, admitted to police he was sexually attracted to the 12-year-old girl and pled guilty to sexually abusing her over a six-month period.

He referred to his actions as "tickling" the victim at his Bellmead home, according to the arrest affidavit.

Mercon was then charged with bestiality after police found him with his neighbor's dog in 2018. He pled guilty to the charge in 2019 inn exchange from the DA's office that he be placed on a deferred probation for five years.

District Judge Matt Johnson said he was referring Mercon's case to the county's new veterans court, which is currently being created.

Mercon then withdrew his guilty plea after learning his plea to bestiality would require him to register as a sex offender and thus making his case ineligible for veterans court.

Phil Martinez, a lawyer representing Mercon, said the vet was receiving treatment for service-related trauma from the Department of Veterans Affairs. He was honorably discharged from service.

"He indicated that he would take full responsibility for his actions," Martinez said.

"He didn’t want to go through a trial process because he had already admitted that he did something inappropriate and he is just hoping that he can eventually put this behind him, do his time and get back out."

Martinez must serve at least seven years before being eligible for parole.

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