State rests in Bowie County child sex abuse trial

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The state rested its case Wednesday afternoon in the trial of a man accused of sexually abusing his former girlfriend’s daughter.

A jury of nine women and three men chosen Tuesday at the Bowie County courthouse in New Boston, Texas, listened to opening arguments from Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp and Shreveport, La., attorney Carl Franklin Wednesday morning in the trial of Roy Dean Brown, 51.

The alleged victim, now 20, testified that Brown coerced her into sexual activity beginning when she was five or six by telling her that was how she had to earn things like fast food, trips to the dollar store and a cell phone. The girl testified that Brown last abused her in July 2010 when she needed a cell phone to take with her to cheerleading camp.

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At a family gathering Saturday, Aug. 7, 2010, the girl, who was then 14, made an outcry of sexual abuse to two young cousins who told adult relatives. The alleged victim testified that she was motivated to tell because her mother had mentioned that she could have a doctor examine her to determine if she had been sexually active.

The girl’s mother testified that she called Brown the day her daughter accused him of chronically abusing him to confront him. A family friend who was with Brown when he got the call from the girl’s mother said Brown grabbed his laptop and left the trailer where Brown lived with the alleged victim and her mother in New Boston. The friend said he tried to contact Brown for weeks afterward but never saw or heard from him again until the trial this week.

Former New Boston police detective John Morphew, who now works for the Linden, Texas, Police Department, testified that his office acquired a warrant for Brown’s arrest Sept. 3, 2010, under questioning from Assistant District Attorney Lauren Richards. Brown didn’t show up for work at Hooks Elementary School where he worked as a teacher’s aide the Monday after the allegations surfaced, Morphew said.

Morphew testified that Brown was not arrested until Oct. 21, 2011, more than a year later, when he was found in Titus County, Texas. A few months later, a search warrant allowed officers to collect a sample of Brown’s blood for comparison to DNA collected from the girl’s bedding. A Texas Department of Public Safety DNA serologist testified that Brown’s DNA is a match to a sample collected from the bedding which also contained the alleged victim’s DNA.

Franklin questioned Morphew about the collection of the bedding. The girl’s mother placed a comforter and a bedspread in a trash bag the week at the request of law enforcement after the allegations came to light. Franklin asked questions of Morphew and other officers which indicate he intends to argue the bedding wasn’t handled appropriately by law enforcement, allowing for contamination. Morphew said officers did not visit the trailer home or take photographs or video of the girl’s room.

The alleged victim and her mother both testified that the linens on the daughter’s bed were never placed on any other beds in the home.

After Crisp rested the state’s case Wednesday afternoon, 102nd District Judge Bobby Lockhart released the jury with instructions to return Thursday morning to hear testimony from defense witnesses. If the defense finishes presentation of its case Thursday, the jury could hear closing arguments and begin deliberating on a verdict.

Brown is charged with the continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14, an offense punishable by 25 to 99 years or life in prison. A charge of second degree sexual assault, which allegedly occurred after the girl turned 14, is punishable by two to 20 years in prison.

Brown has been free on bail since about five days after his arrest in 2011.

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