Hung jury leads to mistrial in Miller County sex abuse trial

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A Miller County judge declared a mistrial Monday evening in a child sexual abuse trial because the jury was unable to reach a verdict.

Carlos Alberto Garay, 39, of Arlington, is charged with two counts of second-degree sexual assault for alleged misconduct with a 15-year-old girl in March 2015. The girl testified Monday that she waited approximately one year to tell a family member of the abuse because she was worried about her mother and Garay’s son, in response to questions from Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Connie Mitchell.

The girl testified she was spending the night with Garay, who was a family friend, and Garay’s girlfriend and young son at the La Quinta Inn in Texarkana, Ark., on March 21, 2015. The girl said she was uncomfortable when Garay told her to share one of the room’s two beds with him while the boy and Garay’s girlfriend slept in the other. The girl said Garay’s son was asleep and the girlfriend was in the bathroom when Garay touched her sexually in several ways.

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The girl’s mother testified that her daughter asked her to make an excuse for her not to go when Garay invited her to spend time with him again in March 2016, about a year later. The girl said that invitation and problems at home caused her to tell an aunt about the alleged abuse.

Garay, who has shaved the beard and thick mustache seen in his jail booking photo, did not take the stand during the one-day trial.

After declaring a mistrial in the case, Circuit Judge Kirk Johnson declined to reduce Garay’s bail from $100,000 at the request of Public Defender Matt Stephens and Garay remains in custody. A new trial date is expected to be scheduled.

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