Jury chosen in Bowie County child sex abuse trial

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NEW BOSTON, Texas: A jury of six women and six men was selected Tuesday to decide the case of a 64-year-old Texarkana man accused of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl in 2014 and 2015.

Testimony is scheduled to begin Wednesday morning before 202nd District Judge John Tidwell at the Bowie County courthouse in New Boston. Mathis, who is represented by Texarkana attorney Jeff Harrelson, has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Mathis was living in an apartment in the same complex as the girl and her family on Main Street in Texarkana, Texas, in 2014 and 2015. The girl told a forensic interviewer in April 2017 at the Children’s Advocacy Center in Texarkana that Mathis would ask her to come with him to a secluded garden area nearby where he would sexually abuse her.

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“She advised that this action occurred more than 10 times while she lived at that location,” the affidavit said. “She advised that Mathis would give her a toy or money afterward and told her that he would kill her family if she told anyone.”

If the jury finds Mathis guilty of aggravated sexual assault of a child, they will determine his punishment under a range of five to 99 years or life in prison. First Assistant District Attorney Mike Shepherd and Assistant District Attorney Katie Carter are prosecuting.

Mathis is being held in the Bowie County jail. Bail is set at $150,000.

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