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story.lead_photo.caption David Anthony Turney

NEW BOSTON, Texas—Opening statements and testimony began Tuesday afternoon at the Bowie County Courthouse in the trial of a man accused of the continuous sexual abuse of a child.

David Anthony Turney, 34, is on trial this week for the alleged abuse of a girl, now 12, to whom he is related and with whom he lived until May 2017, when the alleged misconduct was reported to the Hooks, Texas, Police Department . Turney is also accused of sexually abusing another girl, now 14, an older sister of the girl he is on trial for allegedly abusing.

Under questioning from Assistant District Attorney Katie Carter, the girl testified that Turney would make a sexually graphic hand gesture to let her know she was supposed to go into the bathroom and wait for him. The girl described various types of sexual abuse.

The girl claimed that Turney would use a kitchen knife to wedge in one of the bathroom's two exit doors to ensure that it could not be opened. The second exit door could only be opened with a screwdriver, the girl testified. The girl said Turney would often leave the bathroom from a different door than she did so that others in the house did not realize they had been in the bathroom at the same time.

She testified Turney used the phrase "playing special kid" to describe the alleged sexual activities.

The girl said the abuse occurred many times between 2015 and 2017.

The girl's mother testified she was moved to question her daughters after finding a sex toy on a high shelf in the bathroom while packing for a move. The mother testified that the item should not have been there.

Under cross-examination by Texarkana lawyer Bart Craytor, who is representing Turney along with Texarkana lawyer Danny Cook, the mother said she did not suspect any misconduct by Turney before asking the alleged victim and her sister about possible sexual contact in general.

A jury of nine women and three men was selected Tuesday morning to hear the case before 202nd District Judge John Tidwell. Testimony is expected to continue Wednesday morning.

If found guilty of the continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14, Turney faces 25 to 99 years or life in prison. Under Texas law, there is no parole eligibility from any sentence imposed under a conviction for the offense.

 

llarowe@texarkanagazette.com

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