Rockwall step-father sentenced to life plus 20 years for sexual assaults of step-daughters


By J.J. Smith. A Rockwall step-father was sentenced Tuesday by a Rockwall County jury to life in prison plus 20 years in prison to be served consecutively for the aggravated sexual assault of a child and indecency with a child involving his two young step-daughters.

Rocky Dale Dial, 51, was found guilty by the same 12-member Rockwall County jury Monday in less than an hour after hearing how he had committed the sexual crimes between 2002 and 2007, beginning when the girls were only eight and ten years old.

Dial was sentenced to the two consecutive terms after new Rockwall County District Attorney felony prosecutor Damita Sangermano requested the sentences to prevent him from ever leaving prison again.

According to Rockwall County Criminal District Attorney Kenda Culpepper, both girls – who are now teenagers – testified.

A third witness and family member, now an adult, also testified that Dial assaulted her 15 years ago when she was just ten. 

Since Dial had no previous convictions, he had been eligible for probation, but Culpepper said the jury felt the crimes were so serious that he should spend the rest of his life in prison where he can no longer harm any children.

“The jury certainly sent a strong message that people who commit sexual offenses in this community will be severely punished,” she said. 

“We applaud the courage of the young victims who were called to testify against the defendant and are glad to see that justice has finally been served in this case.”  

Felony prosecutor Stephani Woodward, who sat second chair and helped select the jury, explained that Dial will not become eligible for probation until after serving half of his consecutive sentences.  

She added that he received the aggravated sexual assault conviction because the victim was under 14 years old.   

This was the first felony case that lead prosecutor Damita Sangermano has tried to a jury in Rockwall County since being hired in April. She had previously worked for the Dallas County DA’s office for the past 18 years.

“I am impressed by the sense of community in the Rockwall District Attorney’s office.” Sangermano said.  “Many members of the office, including Stephani Woodward, who sat second chair, worked on various aspects of the case and contributed to its successful outcome.”

Culpepper said she is extremely pleased with Sangermano’s hard work on this case, spending many, many hours to ensure Dial be sent away to the state penitentiary for the rest of his life for what he did.

Dial has spent the past ten months in Rockwall County jail awaiting trial, after being arrested last year by Rockwall police.

He will be transferred to the state penitentiary soon where he will serve out his prison sentences.





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