MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - They were sexual predators with a methodical plan. A west Tennessee couple first gained the trust of teenage girls by giving them gifts and cell phones then they abused that trust and took away the girls' innocence. Daryl Maness and his wife Shannon Maness were sentenced Friday, October 26 on charges of receiving child pornography on their cell phones.
Daryl Maness was a farmer and construction worker. Shannon Maness worked in fast food and at a newspaper for 7 years. They have 2 children together and live in Chester County. Both were never in trouble with the law until now.
"They’re very sick individuals who committed this reprehensible conduct,” said the U.S. Attorney Edward Stanton of Western Tennessee.
That "conduct" was child porn, sexual abuse, and rape. Four girls became their victims in 2010; the youngest was a 13-year old.
"Our main goal is to protect our most vulnerable citizens, our children in our community,” said Stanton. “This will not be tolerated at any level."
According to the indictment the couple “groomed” the girls by first giving them gifts and jewelry then cell phones. It's those cell phones that changed their lives forever.
"Ultimately to take pictures of themselves in a very explicit manner,” Stanton stated.
Those pictures lead to sexual acts and then rape. The couple pleaded guilty to aggravated statutory rape in Chester County. In federal court a judge sentenced the couple 10 years in prison on child pornography charges.
"The message should be loud and clear, unequivocal you will be caught and you will be brought to justice,” said Stanton.
According to the plea agreement the husband and wife waived their right to appeal the ruling. They will have to register as sex offenders. There is no parole in federal prison.
Prosecutors say the victims feel "embarrassed, stupid, and humiliated." Two of the victims, now 16 and 17 years old, are mothers themselves. Justice may be served but the 4 girls will have to deal with emotional scars that started with trusting people they called "friends."