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Five teen girls give testimony in Bowie County sexual abuse trial of 43-year-old Dallas man

by Lynn LaRowe | December 15, 2021 at 10:00 p.m.
JORGE PINA-SALAZAR

NEW BOSTON, Texas -- Five teen girls testified Wednesday in the trial of a man accused of multiple felony child sex crimes in Bowie County.

Jorge Pina-Salazar, 43, of Dallas, is accused of sexually abusing the girls at family gatherings and visits, some of them for years. A jury of seven men and five women will decide if Pina-Salazar is guilty of crimes involving four of the five girls who testified against him Wednesday at the Bowie County courthouse in New Boston.

The youngest and first girl to make an outcry of sexual abuse hung her head and sobbed as she answered questions from First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp. The girl testified that Pina-Salazar began abusing her when she was 3 and that the abuse ended when she was 12 after she told a mental health provider.

The girl, now 13, testified that the first time she recalls Pina-Salazar touching her was during the holiday season when she was 3 and living in a house in Texarkana, Texas, in approximately 2011.

"I didn't know what he was doing. I was confused. It was a confusing moment for me," the 13-year-old testified.

The girl gave emotional testimony about multiple incidences of abuse that allegedly occurred in Texarkana and in the Dallas area but recalled one instance as "the worst time for me."

"He said I'll give you a hundred dollars if you let me," the girl wept as she spoke, struggling to catch her breath.

Another girl, now 16, cried as she testified that Pina-Salazar once offered her $700 in exchange for sexual contact, under questioning by Assistant District Attorney Lauren Richards.

Three other alleged victims, now 16, 17 and 18, testified that they were sexually abused by Pina-Salazar, under questioning by Assistant District Attorney Bradley Akins, Crisp and Richards. The four youngest alleged victims testified that they were all molested by Pina-Salazar in the early morning hours of May 29, 2019, following a graduation party in Texarkana.

The girls testified they were all sleeping in one bedroom when Pina-Salazar came and went from the room, groping and assaulting them one by one.

"It was easier not to talk about it," one of the girls testified when asked why they kept silent.

The 13-year-old testified that she was motivated to tell about the abuse because she feared an upcoming family gathering meant she might be abused by Pina-Salazar again.

Pina-Salazar's defense lawyers, Joel John and Mitch Dooley of Dallas, questioned the alleged victims about the specifics of their alleged accounts and whether the alleged abuse occurred in Bowie County or another jurisdiction.

Pina-Salazar is charged with three counts of indecency with a child by sexual contact. If convicted, he faces two to 20 years on each count. If convicted of a charge of sexual assault of a child, he faces two to 20 years. If convicted of continuous sexual abuse of a child involving the alleged victim who is now 13, Pina-Salazar faces 25 years to life in prison and there is no parole from any sentence imposed.

In opening statements, Akins described Pina-Salazar as a "pedophile" and promised the state would prove through witness testimony that the alleged victims were abused "at least once and some of them multiple times."

"This graduation party was a disaster for children," Akins said. "Once the adults were asleep, the defendant worked his way to the room where the children were sleeping."

John told the jury in his opening statement that the state won't be able to "meet its burden," to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

"There is no physical evidence in this case. Nothing was sent to the lab to be tested," John said. "All the evidence you're going to get is words."

The jury was placed in an evening recess Wednesday afternoon by 102nd District Judge Jeff Addison with instructions to return to court Thursday morning to continue hearing testimony in the trial.

Print Headline: Five teen girls give testimony in Bowie County sexual abuse trial of 43-year-old Dallas man

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