Jury to deliberate child sex assault case against Longview man
By Sarah Thomas email@example.com
Sept. 25, 2013 at 2:07 a.m.
A Longview jury most likely will have to decide today if two little girls told the truth when they said they were sexually assaulted, or if their stories were fabricated to exact vengeance for their parents.
The jury in the trial of Larry Brent Cahill, a 46-year-old Longview man accused of sexually assaulting two children, is expected to begin deliberations this morning, said 188th District Court Judge David Brabham.
The trial of Larry Brent Cahill - charged with indecency with a child by contact, aggravated sexual assault of a child and attempted aggravated sexual assault of a child - began Tuesday morning with the prosecution charging Cahill sexually assaulted two girls who were ages five and 11 at the time of the assault.
The defense argued the allegations were punishment for non-payment of drug money.
During opening statements, Prosecutor Pamela Ibeh told jurors they would hear testimony that Larry Brent Cahill, 46, was a good man who had a strong, close relationship with the two victims until the night of January 16 when he sneaked into their bedroom and sexually them.
"(This case) may not be complicated, but it is very important because of the safety of our community and our children and all children," Ibeh told the five-man, seven-woman jury in the 188th District Court. "We expect the evidence to show that sometime early that morning ... he got into a twin bed with two little girls and did the unthinkable to them."
Cahill's defense attorney Rick Hagen argued the girls falsely accused his client at the request of their parents in an attempt to settle a drug debt.
"At least one other person will tell you that the case was made up. It was all fabricated," he told the jurors. "(It is) vengeance over drug money that wasn't paid. That's the new poor man's vengeance - to allege sexual assault."
Hagen questioned the girls father about he and his ex-wife's drug use and criminal history to build motivation for the allegations against his client.
He also questioned why the girls' parents waited almost seven hours to contact police.
"This (was supposed to have happened) at 4:30 a.m. but not until ... 11 do they go to the police station," he said.
Jurors also heard testimony from the young victims who testified Cahill touched their "bad spots."
A couple of jurors sat with their hands over their mouths during portions of the victims' testimony.
Throughout the day, Cahill glanced at the jurors and around the courtroom, going back and forth between leaning back and rocking in his chair to leaning over the defense table with his chin propped up on his hand.
The oldest victim testified she asked Cahill if she could go to the bathroom and he told her to "hurry back." She told the court she ran to her parents' room and told them Cahill was "messing" with them.
The youngest of the victims used stuffed animals to demonstrate for the court what Cahill is accused of doing to them.
The six year-old's testimony came after Hagen lost his objection to her statements on grounds she was too young to understand what it meant to testify and couldn't understand what it meant to lie under oath.
The prosecution also showed video of Cahill's statement to White Oak Police Investigator Ferris Ellis, who interrogated Cahill in late January in his hospital room at Good Shepherd Medical Center.
During questioning, Cahill told Ellis he fell asleep on the couch and woke up in the girls' bedroom but didn't know how he got there.
Cahill also told Ferris the girl's parents kicked him out about 4 a.m. but he didn't know why they were making him leave.
He repeatedly told Ellis "I didn't mess with them girls" during the interrogation.
Other evidence presented by the prosecution included photos of the home where the alleged assaults occurred and testimony from White Oak Police Sgt. Page Johnson, who testified he was called to take the parents complaint at 10:47 a.m. the morning of January 16.
The trial was set to reconvene at 9 a.m. today.
Aggravated sexual assault of a child is a first-degree felony that carries a sentence of five years to life in prison.
Indecency with a child by contact is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.