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Closing arguments begin in sexual assault of a child trial

By Jimmy Isaac jisaac@news-journal.com
July 20, 2011 at 8:43 a.m.


<strong>2:04 a.m. update:</strong> A judge ruled that the clerk, Adalia Richmond, the 188th District Court clerk, would be allowed to testify. Richmond said she remembered a boy living at the home and riding the bus.  Closing arguments begin.

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<strong>1:47 p.m. update:</strong> The state called a court clerk to testify. She is Mumphrey's neighbor. The jury was called to wait in a room while the judge took a recess to determine if she would be allowed to testify.

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<strong>9:37 a.m. update:</strong> The state rested their case at 9:15 this morning. the defense has called Mumphrey as its first witness.

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A 20-year-old Longview man fought back tears Tuesday to retell his story of what he says was more than a decade of abuse at the hands of 37-year-old Johnny A. Mumphrey.

Mumphrey is on trial in Gregg County's 124th District Court for aggravated sexual assault of a child, facing up to life in prison if convicted by a local jury. Testimony resumes at 9 this morning.

The Longview News-Journal does not identify the names of victims in sexual crimes or cases.

The alleged victim testified that he had an ongoing sexual relationship with Mumphrey, oft times nightly, from the time he was 8 years old through public school and into his college years. The abuse occurred at multiple locations but mostly at the defendant's house.

The victim's testimony conflicted, however, with testimony from his mother, who said she believes that her son and the defendant only had consensual sex after the victim became an adult.

The victim's mother told jurors that her son did not live with the defendant between the time he was 6 years old until he reached the seventh grade, and that Mumphrey had no opportunity to have abused her son. She further stated that she did not end her relationship with the defendant despite her son's allegation.

The victim said he never told anyone about the abuse for many years because of his mother's assertion that "What happens in this house stays in this house." At one point, 124th District Judge Alfonso Charles recessed proceedings for four minutes to allow the victim to regain his composure after he buried his hands and cried at Assistant District Attorney Jenny Huckle's question about "uncomfortable" moments growing up.

"I don't hate (Mumphrey)," the alleged victim later told jurors. "Most people think he should go to jail. I wouldn't say that just because I grew up without a father, and I wouldn't want (the defendant's two daughters) to go through that."

Jurors watched a more than 20-minute video recording of Gregg County Sheriff's Investigator Chris Miller's interrogation of Mumphrey, in which the defendant said sex with the alleged victim began when he was 18, out of public school and on his way to a technical college. Mumphrey said the boy showed him homosexual, pornographic images on his cell phone, which led to the sexual relationship.

"It was the first time for me to do any (stuff) like that. I got curious," Mumphrey said. "I never had done anything like that with him beforehand ... but I did not do what he said I was doing previously. He was out of school."

At one point in the taped interview, Mumphrey asked Miller how he could prove the abuse occurred, and Miller replied "I can prove you did it. If I couldn't prove you did it, you wouldn't be sitting in this interview room."

Mumphrey chuckled and said, "I know, I know." Miller pointed that out to jurors after the video ended. Miller also noted that Mumphrey later said only "most of" the text messages he sent to the victim which shed light on their sexual relationship were communicated after he graduated high school, "which indicates to me that some of them were sent when he was in school."

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