Jury selected to decide Bowie County child sex abuse case

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NEW BOSTON, Texas: A jury of six men and six women was chosen Tuesday at the Bowie County courthouse to decide the case of a man accused of continuously sexually abusing a young girl.

Rickey Willis, 55, allegedly was dating the girl’s mother during the years the abuse occurred, according to a probable cause affidavit. The girl and her mother allegedly mentioned the sexual abuse at a visit to a doctor last year. Healthcare professionals are mandated by law to report suspected child abuse to authorities.

Willis allegedly abused the girl while she was living in a residence in New Boston with her mother. The victim, 11, allegedly told investigators that some of the sexual abuse occurred when she was 9.

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Willis has a conviction for first-degree sexual abuse. He pleaded guilty to the offense in 1991 in Miller County, Ark., and received an eight-year prison term, according to court records.

Willis is represented by attorney Bart Craytor of Texarkana. First Assistant District Attorney Michael Shepherd and Assistant District Attorney Katie Carter are prosecuting the case and 202nd District Judge John Tidwell is presiding.

If convicted of the continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14, Willis faces 25 to 99 years or life in prison.

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