FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FROM THE ROCKWALL COUNTY CRIMINAL DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE
March 5, 2019
On Monday, a Rockwall County jury took less than five hours to convict Rockwall resident, Christopher Gene Duke, 29, for the felony offense of Aggravated Sexual Assault. After the jury returned a verdict of guilty, Duke was sentenced to thirty (30) years in the Texas state penitentiary.
Testimony in the week long trial showed that on September 15, 2017, the defendant and his victim met on a dating site named “Plenty of Fish”. The two individuals met personally that evening and again the next evening. During that time, they consensually engaged in some sexual contact. When Duke demanded that the encounter go further, the victim refused. The victim gave powerful testimony during the trial that the defendant then violently sexually assaulted her, refusing to stop even as she begged him to leave her alone. When she tried to escape, the defendant strangled her until she stopped fighting.
Jurors additionally heard from Rockwall Police Department Detective Laurie Burks who investigated the case, a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, and the DPS Crime Lab. A jailhouse informant testified that the defendant had bragged to him about committing the Aggravated Sexual Assault and that Duke went by the nickname “PoF (Plenty of Fish) Predator” while incarcerated in the Rockwall County Jail awaiting trial.
Prosecutors brought two other women who had also been victimized by the defendant to testify in the punishment hearing.
“In the end, it was the bravery and honesty of the victim that convinced the jury to convict,” said lead prosecutor Kerri New. “She deserved justice and the jury delivered it – both for her and for our community.”
“This case absolutely highlights the danger of these online dating sites,” said Rockwall County District Attorney Kenda Culpepper. “Sexual predators lurk on them hoping to snare an unsuspecting victim. Christopher Duke is not the only ‘PoF Predator’ out there.”