New Boston, Texas: Testimony began Wednesday at the Bowie County courthouse for an Alabama twin accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 7-year-old Texarkana, Texas, girl in 2009.
When Aaron Gregory Lucas, 35, was first charged with a long list of child sex abuse crimes in Colorado, he claimed DNA evidence linking him to some of the misconduct actually belongs to his identical twin brother. Lucas eventually pleaded guilty to seven offenses and is currently serving a term of 20 years to life in Colorado.
Wednesday the jury heard testimony from several Colorado law enforcement officers detailing the crimes Lucas committed there. All involved girls Lucas approached in their low income neighborhoods. Among Lucas’ prior convictions is one involving the kidnapping of a 7-year-old Colorado girl who was nabbed on a playground, forced into a car, sexually assaulted and then released in the area where she was taken.
Lucas pleaded guilty in Colorado to sexual misconduct with two girls, 6 and 9, who were selling lemonade when he approached them and to molesting a girl he enticed behind a dumpster near a playground on apartment complex property where she lived.
The details of that crime are extremely similar to allegations in the case for which Lucas stands trial this week in Bowie County. Lucas allegedly dragged the girl off of playground equipment in late 2009 near an apartment complex in the 2200 block of Fifteenth Street in Texarkana, Texas, witnesses testified under questioning from Assistant District Attorneys Kelley Crisp and Lauren Richards.
The girl was allegedly assaulted in a car bearing the same description as those of Lucas’ car given in some of the Colorado cases before being returned to the area where she was abducted. DNA analyst Tricia Cotcher of the Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Lab testified that sperm cells found in samples collected from the Texarkana girl’s mouth and anus are a match to Lucas’ DNA.
Lucas’ defense team, Blake Burns, Nick Davis and Kyle Hogan of Fort Worth have questioned the local law enforcement witnesses extensively about the possibility that DNA samples were contaminated and about a misidentification of a suspect in a 2010 photo line-up.
Testimony, including from the alleged victim, is scheduled to resume Thursday morning before 5th District Judge Bill Miller and the eight-man, four-women jury. If convicted of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault of a child, Lucas faces five to 99 years or life on each charge.