Prosecutor describes “House of horrors” in Bowie County child sex abuse trial

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NEW BOSTON, Texas: The residence where a 12-year-old girl was allegedly sexually abused was described as a “House of horrors” by a prosecutor during opening statements Tuesday.

Charles Edward Garton, 40, is facing two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child. First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp told the jury that the home Garton shared with now-deceased John Littleton was the site of illegal activities that included the sexual exploitation of children.

Littleton, 71, died in June 2018 before he could be tried on multiple charges of human trafficking. Garton and Littleton shared a house on Meadow Lane in New Boston for 13 years.

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Garton is accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl from February 2018 to April 2018 who came to live in the home with her older sister when their grandparents were no longer able to care for them. The mother of the sisters was allegedly sexually abused by Littleton beginning when she was 11.

Texas Department of Public Safety Special Agent Josh Vera testified under direct examination by Assistant District Attorney Craig Foster that he has known Garton for many years and was hoping the allegations against him weren’t true. A video recorded on a cell phone in the carport of the Meadow Lane house of Vera and DPS Special Agent Lance Klein questioning Garton was played for the jury.

In the video, Garton initially denies any misconduct but eventually describes sexual contact with the girl in graphic detail.

Garton’s attorney, Bart Craytor of Texarkana, said the confession was coaxed out of Garton after hours and hours of questioning by investigators. Craytor told the jury in opening statements that Garton was a father to the alleged victim and her sister and that he went without food to make sure they got to eat.

The jury was instructed by 102nd District Judge Jeff Addison to return to court Wednesday morning to continue hearing testimony in the case. Garton faces five to 99 years or life in prison on each of two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child.

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