Nacogdoches man on trial in connection to sexual assault of acquaintance

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A trial began Tuesday in the case of a Nacogdoches man accused of raping a woman who may or may not be the mother of his child.

Travis Austin Bailey, 25, is charged with sexual assault.

Patrol Sgt. William Clayton McQueen with the Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office took the stand late Tuesday morning and testified he was dispatched to a sexual assault call in September.

"I went to a residence. My complainant/victim was there with her family."

He said he began asking her some questions to establish that a report actually needed to be made, but he testified the woman didn't feel comfortable talking much about the alleged incident at the residence. McQueen said the woman came to the sheriff's office to give a statement.

He said she testified she had been sexually assaulted by someone she knew, a Travis Bailey. However, the deputy said he has never seen Bailey.

The woman apparently told investigators the incident happened in Nacogdoches County on Fairs Road.

"I did observe a red mark under her right eye," McQueen said.

He testified the woman told him she received the injury during the assault. After an hour or two at the sheriff's office, investigators told the woman to go to the hospital.

"I didn't sense any deception," McQueen testified of the woman's story. Although, he said she seemed apprehensive to be at the time.

"I went to the hospital and I made contact with hospital staff to see the outcome of the exam," McQueen explained.

He testified he learned a rape kit had not been conducted on the alleged victim.

Defense attorney John Boundy began questioning the patrol sergeant about his role in the case.

The officer admitted in the past, people have filed complaints to get themselves or someone else out of trouble.

"People seemed upset," McQueen said of the day he responded to the call with the woman's family around.

McQueen told jurors the woman's injuries, like the redness on her cheek, did not accurately show up on the pictures presented in court.

During McQueen's interview with the woman, he said she admitted she had, in the past, had sexual relations with Bailey. He also testified, depending on who was asked, the two may have had a child together.

Tuesday afternoon a Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital nurse took the stand and told jurors about the night the alleged victim came into the hospital. She testified medical staff did conduct a physical exam on the alleged victim and found a red mark on her face, but no other marks on her body.

The nurse pointed out it takes a young person longer to bruise. She testified the hospital does have rape kits.

The defense attorney then went through a list of evidence normally collected when a rape kit is administered, pointing out many items were never conducted on the alleged victim.

The nurse testified the victim was concerned about contracting a sexually transmitted disease.

Prosecutors questioned the nurse about the red mark found on the woman's face. The nurse said the mark was consistent with the alleged victim's claim of being hit in the face.

The nurse testified it had been more than 24 hours since the sexual assault allegedly happened, so she consulted with a doctor and he decided not to use the rape kit on the woman.

She testified in her 23-year career at Memorial she rarely had someone come in immediately after a sexual assault.

"It takes a lot of guts to come in and admit that," the nurse said.

She also said it was not unusual for the woman to have bathed and changed clothes prior to coming to the hospital.

Michael Claude, chief investigator for the Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office, took the stand Tuesday afternoon. The investigator testified he handles the majority of sexual assault cases that come in as well as those against children.

"We try to determine who the most credible person is telling the story," Claude said.

He testified he interviewed the defendant before interviewing the alleged victim.

The state played a recorded interview between Claude and Bailey.

"I've never been to her house," Bailey said on the tape.

"Why would she make all this up?" Claude asked him.

"I have no idea," Bailey replied.

Bailey told the investigator he had sex with the woman before a couple months prior to the alleged incident. He went on to tell Claude the two may have a child together.

"Why would she make up this?" Claude asked.

"The only thing I could think of is she wants to be in a relationship," Bailey replied.

Boundy began questioning the investigator. He testified he never went over to the alleged victim's house and collected evidence, nor did any of the other detectives. The defense worked to point out deficiencies in the state's case. Boundy questioned the chief investigator about the evidence they did not collect, including fingerprints from the house and the alleged victim's clothes. The investigator testified he does believe some of those pieces of evidence would be important in strengthening the state's case.

The defense pointed out there's no physical evidence to prove that the alleged victim had sex the night of the alleged incident, let alone that it was with his client or that it was not consensual.  The chief investigator agreed.

The prosecution pointed out four days had passed since the alleged incident when the case got in Claude's hands.

"I had spoken to the victim and she had said that she had already cleaned up the crime scene," Claude said. He went on to tell jurors that he didn't see any evidence that could be collected at the house to strengthen the case against Bailey four days after the incident.

He said he believed his investigation was complete.

Claude testified he knew there was "bad blood" between the alleged victim and the defendant over a child Bailey may or may not have fathered.

The state rested at 3:14 p.m.

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