NEW BOSTON, Texas–A Texarkana man accused of fathering a child with a girl he began sexually abusing when she was 10 and he was 38 is on trial this week at the Bowie County courthouse.
Christopher Darrell Brown, 46, is charged with the continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14 as well as five counts of sexual assault of a child. A jury of four men and eight women was selected Tuesday to decide the case during proceedings before 202nd District Judge John Tidwell at the Bowie County courthouse in New Boston.
Brown allegedly began touching the girl inappropriately when she was a 10-year-old living in the 100 block of Wade Lane in Texarkana, Texas, in the summer of 2014, according to a probable cause affidavit.
The abuse continued after the girl’s family moved to another Texarkana, Texas, residence and escalated to rape when the alleged victim was about 12, the affidavit said. Brown was married to an adult relative of the girl’s and lived with her in the same home during the time he was allegedly secretly raping her.
When the girl reported the alleged abuse late in 2020, she told Texarkana Texas Police Department investigators that she was 14 when she became pregnant with Brown’s child and not quite 16 when she gave birth to a son. The girl described multiple instances of sexual assault which occurred before her 14th birthday and multiple instances of sexual assault which occurred after her 14th birthday.
Investigators collected samples of the child’s DNA at the onset of the investigation and in November 2021, the results confirmed that Brown is the baby’s father, the affidavit alleges.
District Attorney Seeking Enhanced Punishment
If found guilty of the continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14, Brown faces a minimum of 25 years in prison with a maximum of life. There is no parole possible from any sentence imposed for the continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14.
Each of the five counts of sexual assault of a child pending against Brown are punishable by two to 20 years in prison. However, the state has filed a notice of enhancement based on a prior felony conviction for forgery that would up the range of punishment for those five counts to five to 99 years or life in prison with parole possible.
The Bowie County District Attorney’s Office has also filed a motion for cumulative sentences. If granted, that would mean any time Brown receives for one offense will be stacked on top of time for other offenses. If he is convicted on all counts and receives a maximum term on each, Brown could face a sentence of life without parole followed by five additional life sentences.
Defendant Being Held Without Bond
Brown was arrested on the charges in late 2021 and released in January 2022 on bonds totaling $200,000, court records show. Earlier this month his bonds were revoked by Judge Tidwell for violations of his bond conditions, including a failed drug test.
He is now being held in the Bowie County jail without bond.
Testimony Starts Wednesday
Opening statements from the prosecution and defense are expected to start Wednesday morning followed by testimony from the first of the state’s witnesses.
Among those expected to take the stand are the alleged victim, Texarkana police investigators and DNA experts from the Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Lab.
The state is represented by First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp and Assistant District Attorney Lauren Richards.
Brown is represented by Texarkana lawyer Josh Potter and Fayetteville, Ark., attorney Brandon Pickett.
A verdict in the case is expected this week.