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story.lead_photo.caption Dennis Vian

TEXARKANA, Arkansas — With the lifting of pandemic restrictions by the Arkansas Supreme Court, prosecutors in Miller County are getting ready for their first criminal jury trial in months.

Jury selection is set for May 5 in the child sexual assault trial of Dennis Leon Vian with Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Connie Mitchell leading the prosecution. Vian, 68, is accused of violating a 13-year-old girl whose father lived near Vian's trailer on the same property in Texarkana, Arkansas, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The girl's mother told members of the Texarkana Arkansas Police Department that her ex-husband picked up their daughter for a visit at approximately 7 p.m. the evening of Oct. 12, 2019, and returned her the following day around noon.

The girl allegedly told her mother that Vian assaulted her while she was in his trailer watching television. The girl allegedly went to Vian's trailer with a friend who later left her alone with Vian.

The girl disclosed that prior to the alleged misconduct, Vian's comments had made her uncomfortable.

Vian is currently free on a $50,000 bond and ordered to have no contact with the girl. He is represented by Managing Public Defender Jason Mitchell, who is not related to Connie Mitchell.

Vian faces a fine up to $15,000 and five to 20 years in prison if convicted.

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