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Sexual assault of a child trial begins today

December 4, 2012

Jury selection is expected to begin in 118th District Court this morning in the trial of a Big Spring man who is charged with four counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child.

Hector Manuel Gonzales Jr., 33, of 3730 Adams St., was indicted by a Howard County grand jury in mid-April on four counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, all first-degree felonies.

Jury selection in the case — which was originally scheduled to be heard in late October but was postponed due to illness on the part of Gonzales' attorney, Don Richard — is slated to begin at 9 a.m., with testimony set to begin later in the afternoon.

Jury selection was previously scheduled to take place Monday, however, illness struck again, according to Assistant District Attorney Robin Orr.

“Last time it was Mr. Richard who fell ill and this time it's the court reporter,” Orr said. “However, if all goes well, we'll be able to choose the jury this morning and begin testimony shortly after that.”

According to the indictment, all four incidents happened in 2010 with the first occurring March 1 and the last happening on or about Nov. 24.

The case was investigated by the Big Spring Police Department, according to court records.

If convicted, Gonzales could face from five to 99 years or life in prison for each count, as well as a fine not to exceed $10,000.

According to court records, Orr is expected to present the state's case, while Richard, a Big Spring attorney, will be heading up the defense.

The jury was expected to be empaneled this morning with pretrial motions in the case presented to District Judge Timothy Yeats just after lunch.

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