Trial begins for man accused of raping girl in Woden area - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Trial begins for man accused of raping girl in Woden area

Leroy Diamond mug shot courtesy of Nacogdoches County Jail. Leroy Diamond mug shot courtesy of Nacogdoches County Jail.
LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -

A girl testified Monday morning she was sexually assaulted as testimony began in the trial of a man accused of abducting and raping a 15-year-old girl.

Leroy Diamond, 43, of Nacogdoches, is being tried for aggravated kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault after authorities believe Diamond raped a young girl multiple times in April. He is also charged with six counts of sexual assault of a child and three counts of sexual assault in unrelated incidents.

In July 2010 police arrested Diamond after investigators were able to use a composite sketch and a DNA sampled from the alleged victim to identify Diamond as a suspect in the April 2010 alleged incident.

According to previous reports, authorities say Diamond offered a ride to a teenager walking along Martin Luther Kind Jr. Boulevard in Nacogdoches. When the girl realized he wasn't driving to her home, sheriff's officials said she tried jumping out of the car.

Diamond is accused of holding the girl at knife-point and raping her repeatedly at a Woden Cemetery.

The girl testified Monday she scratched Diamond's back with both her hands.

Defense attorney Ralphaell Wilkins questioned the girl, pointing out inconsistencies in her prior statements to law enforcement officers. She admitted she didn't really run away after kicking Diamond in the groin.

The alleged victim was able to positively identify Diamond as her alleged attacker in the courtroom.

According to court testimony, Diamond really did have a knife that night and the alleged victim said Diamond really did have sexual intercourse with her.

Late Monday morning Anthony Gatwood, a deputy with the Nacogdoches County Sheriff's office, took the stand to testify in Diamond's trial.

Gatwood testified in April of 2010 he was assigned to the south end of Nacogdoches County.

According to testimony he was dispatched on April 22, 2010, to Paradise Drive in the county. He said he spoke with a victim at her home. He remembered the alleged victim wearing dirty blue jeans.

"She had some scratches on her," Gatwood remembered. "She did have a little trouble walking, she had a slight limp."

He said other than the noted scratches and limp, she didn't really seem to be that beat up.

"She was very distant ... kind of untrusting," Gatwood said. "She didn't really want to talk, just very closed off."

He said the victim was taken to a Nacogdoches hospital and it was later determine the victim should be taken to Lufkin Memorial Hospital.

Gatwood explained how the girl tried to lead deputies to the spot near Woden where she claimed she had been sexually assaulted.

He testified the victim led them to an open pasture.

"We turned in there and she said that's where it is," Gatwood said.

He said he got out of the patrol unit, searching for evidence of a crime in the pasture area.

Gatwood said the victim told him after the sexual assault took place, "She had gotten out of the vehicle, vomited once and also urinated."

He said he found such evidence at the scene of the crime.

Assistant District Attorney Lauren Gaston showed Gatwood a variety of photos of the victim. He pointed out that the girl's right sleeve was torn, her jeans and shirt were dirty, and she had injuries to her hand, finger, and foot that appeared to be fresh.

Gatwood said the victim and her mother stayed in the patrol unit so as not to taint the crime scene in case there was evidence present.

The defense questioned if the vomit and urine Gatwood testified to have found at the scene were near cattle on the property. Gatwood responded they were not.

Gatwood said in addition to the tear on the girl's right sleeve, she also had a few spots that appeared to be blood on her shirt, but he wasn't sure.

He testified officers did not find a knife on the scene, but he did find footprints.

Monday afternoon Bill Ball, an investigator for the Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office, took the stand.

Ball testified he investigated the alleged victim's case along with a Texas Ranger's help. He said initially the victim was reluctant to talk with investigators and she wasn't able to give them the true name of the suspect.

Originally, Ball testified the girl couldn't pick Diamond out of a photo line-up, but the girl's mother recognized him and pointed him out.

"She mentioned a scar on him that appeared to look like a knife cut," Ball testified.

The investigator told jurors Diamond was cooperative when they asked to get a DNA sample from him.

The defense pointed out that his client cooperated with investigators, showing them an old scar on his back and providing them with a DNA sample.

He said neither he nor the Texas Ranger searched Diamond's car.

Texas Ranger Tom Davis began testifying about his involvement in the aggravated sexual assault case.

"She was nervous and upset, but she was very clear," Davis said.

The defense questioned Davis about Diamond's cooperation. He said the defendant was very cooperative with them, consenting to giving a DNA sample and giving them permission to look at his car.

The trial continues Tuesday at 9 a.m. Stay with KTRE.com for the latest updates on this story.

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