Husband and wife plead not guilty to sexually, physically abusing son and daughter

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A husband and wife accused of sexual and physical of their son and daughter, who are now adults, have pleaded not guilty to multiple felonies in Bowie County.

Mildred Ann Malapelli, 65, and her husband, William Ashcraft, 66, were arrested in May following a search of their home on 26th Street in Texarkana, Texas. The couple’s adult daughter allegedly reported that Ashcraft sexually abused her and that her parents kept her and her brother from attending school and seeing a doctor, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Concern for the daughter’s welfare allegedly led to the search of the couple’s house.

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Both Malapelli and Ashcraft have been charged with sexual assault involving their daughter. Both have also been charged with injury to a disabled person involving their daughter and a son. The indictments allege the couple’s wrongdoing spanned from 2016 to May 2021. The couple lived in another jurisdiction prior to 2016.

Malapelli pleaded not guilty at a hearing Monday before 202nd District Judge John Tidwell. She is represented by Texarkana lawyer Butch Dunbar.

Ashcraft pleaded not guilty at a hearing before Tidwell in August.

First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp said the state intends to try Ashcraft’s case first. Both Malapelli and Ashcraft are being held in the Bowie County jail with bonds set at $900,000.

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