TEXARKANA, Ark. — Opening arguments and testimony are expected to begin Tuesday morning at the Miller County courthouse in the trial of a 74-year-old Genoa man accused of child sexual abuse.
Under the supervision of Circuit Judge Carlton Jones, a jury was chosen Monday to decide the case of Willard Page. Jury selection was conducted at a local public school gymnasium to allow potential jurors to socially distance.
Page was arrested last February and freed on a $50,000 bond. He's charged with three counts of second-degree sexual assault alleged to have occurred from 2007 to 2011.
The alleged victim, now a teen, sent a message via social media to a friend in late 2018 in which she allegedly mentioned being sexually abused. An adult who saw the message in the girl's phone confronted her about it and the girl allegedly made an outcry of abuse against Page.
The girl reported to a forensic interviewer in Harris County, Texas, that when she was a young child she used to stay at Page's home in Genoa.
The girl said that when she was alone with Page he would have her sit in his lap and cover her with a blanket while he sexually assaulted her with his hands. The girl allegedly reported the abuse occurred when she was between the ages of 4 and 8 and that at the time it was occurring she did not know what was happening to her.
Page faces five to 20 years and a fine up to $15,000 on each of the three counts if convicted. Page is represented by Texarkana lawyer Tommy Potter. Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Connie Mitchell and Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Chuck Black are representing the state of Arkansas.