Man accused of sexually abusing two girls appears in court

Randal Lee Wright with attorney Al Smith
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A Bowie County man accused of sexually assaulting two girls, 12 and 15, was in court Monday morning for a pretrial hearing at the Bi-State Justice Center.

Randal Wright, 56, stood with Texarkana attorney Al Smith before 202nd District Judge Leon Pesek, Jr. Smith recently filed a motion asking to postpone Wright’s trial date. Smith said he expects to review videos taped of interviews with the girls at the Texarkana Children’s Advocacy Center this month.

“We’re also waiting for results on DNA,” First Assistant District Attorney Michael Shepherd said.

Pesek asked the lawyers if they desire a new trial date or prefer to set the case for a pretrial hearing in light of the report not yet received from the crime lab. Pesek scheduled the case for another pretrial hearing Aug. 1.

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Wright is currently being held in the Bowie County jail with bail set at $400,000. At a hearing earlier this year, Pesek denied a request from the defense to reduce the bail amount.

Wright came to the attention of Bowie County sheriff’s investigators in September when the parents of a 12-year-old girl reported their daughter told them she had been raped by Wright at his home on Buchanan Road in Bowie County, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The 12-year-old told a forensic interviewer at the Children’s Advocacy Center in Texarkana that she and a 15-year-old relative of Wright’s were spending the evening together at Wright’s home Sept. 20. The girl alleges Wright was drinking and forced the girls to play “quarters” and consume alcohol as well.
The 12-year-old told investigators Wright forced her to undress and sexually assaulted her in his bedroom while the 15-year-old was present. The girl described the sheets on Wright’s bed as having a camouflage pattern. The sheets were collected by investigators.

According to the affidavit, the 15-year-old is intellectually disabled and reported to investigators and CAC staff that she has been sexually assaulted multiple times by Wright.

The grand jury handed down two separate indictments for Wright in December. One indictment charges him with aggravated sexual assault of a child for his alleged misconduct with the 12-year-old. If convicted, Wright faces five to 99 years or life in prison.

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