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Court lessens travel restrictions for Texarkana father, son accused of sexual misconduct with young girl

by Lynn LaRowe | December 14, 2021 at 10:00 p.m.

NEW BOSTON, Texas -- A father and son accused of sexual misconduct with a young girl at a residence in Texarkana appeared before a visiting judge Tuesday for a pretrial hearing.

The outcry was made against David Ernest Fant, 58, and his son Hayden David Fant, 21 in the spring of 2020. Father and son have pleaded not guilty to continuous sexual abuse of a child.

Both defendants were in court Tuesday afternoon for a pretrial hearing before Senior District Judge Lauren Parish. Parish was appointed to the case after all three of the district judges serving Bowie County cited conflicts of interest and recused. Deputy Attorney General Jason Scully-Clemmons is prosecuting the case because the Bowie County District Attorney's Office recused from the case as well.

David Fant is represented by Longview lawyer Jason Cassel. Hayden Fant is represented by Texarkana lawyer John Pickett and Denton lawyer Sarah Roland.

Scully-Clemmons said the state would not object to modifying the conditions of bond to include additional counties in Texas and Arkansas as permissible locations for travel. Both defendants will continue to wear GPS ankle monitors as a condition of their $200,000 bonds.

Other standard motions concerning the exchange of evidence and limits on what can be introduced at trial were discussed. Scully-Clemmons indicated that the state will oppose providing the defense with transcripts of forensic interviews of the alleged victim. Under Texas law, the state is not required to provide copies of videotaped interviews with alleged child abuse victims to the defense.

Also mentioned Tuesday was a tentative date to try one of the defendants beginning Nov. 14, though which defendant will face a jury first was not decided.

The girl allegedly told investigators that David Fant would direct and watch as she and Hayden Fant played a secret "baby" game in their bathing suits on the floor of a den in the Fants' home, according to a probable cause affidavit. The girl reported the abuse occurred beginning in March 2018 and ended about two years later.

The offense is punishable by 25 to 99 years or life and there is no parole from any sentence imposed.

Print Headline: Court lessens travel restrictions for Texarkana father, son accused of sexual misconduct with young girl

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