Texas Rape Trial Resumes Without Defendant Present

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

LIBERTY, Texas -- Testimony has resumed without the defendant present in the first trial over the alleged sexual assault of a Texas middle school girl by 20 men and boys over several months two years ago.

Judge Mark Morefield said today that 20-year-old Eric McGowen's trial will continue even though he hasn't been seen since disappearing during a break in testimony Wednesday, the trial's first day.

McGowen had been free on $35,000 bail. Morefield issued a bench warrant for his arrest and increased his bail to $250,000.

McGowen is among 14 adults accused of sexually assaulting the then-11-year-old girl during a nearly three-month span in 2010. Six juveniles also were charged.

The trial resumed with testimony from a forensic nurse examiner who examined the girl.

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