LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A trial has begun for a Lufkin man accused of molesting a young girl.
Justin Delany Nash, 33, is charged with second-degree indecency with a child.
Lufkin Police arrested Nash in October after a teacher found a student's journal entry, in which she wrote, "I wish I had another life. I got raped by Justin, and I'm scared to tell my mom."
In opening arguments, the prosecution began by reminding jurors of the nature of the case against Justin Nash.
On Friday, September 23, 2011, prosecuting attorney Art Baureiss told jurors that the victim's teacher collected journals from all of her students for the weekend. After reading a startling entry, "I was raped by Justin", the teacher reportedly took the matter to the counselor.
Defense attorney John Tunnell said he wished to give opening arguments at a later time.
The state called upon the mother of the victim, as its first witness.
The mother told the court the victim had been diagnosed with ADHD and was prescribed medicine, which helped calm her down. The prosecution then asked her about her daughter's journal project and her knowledge of it.
"They usually always keep journals in school, but I did not know the exact project," she said.
Baureiss then asked her if the journal entry was the first time the witness had ever heard of inappropriate acts between Nash and her daughter. The witness said the journal entry was the first she had ever heard about it.
The mother said her daughter received at least five or six counseling sessions afterwards from Harold's House. The prosecutor then asked why the victim did not receive more counseling.
"She seemed to do better if we didn't talk about it," the mother said.
In cross examination, the defense asked the victim's mother about an incident where Nash had injured the victim's older sister. The witness stated the victim expressed anger about what Nash did to her sister.
"I forgave him. My daughter had forgiven him. He had some medical complications, and I was concerned. I just wanted to be a friend," said the witness.
The state called upon the victim as the next witness.
"I'm really scared," said the victim, in tears holding a stuffed animal, as Judge Paul White questioned her about her understanding of what was to take place in the courtroom.
"He seemed like a pretty good guy, but I know that now he isn't," said the victim. "He's a bad person to me."
The victims continued to say that her family avoids talking about Nash.
"We don't say his name in our house," she said.
When the victim burst into tears again, the jurors were dismissed from the courtroom, and the trial recessed for lunch.
The victim took the stand again following the recess. This time, she testified through a camera in another room with the prosecutor and judge present. Nash was also placed in another room outside of the courtroom; jurors listed and watched the testimony in the courtroom. The victim told the prosecutor that Nash touched her inappropriately on more than one occasion.
The witness told the prosecutor Nash touched her in her breast region. She also said Nash touched her more than once in her private region.
"When Justin touched you like that were you sitting up, standing up, laying down?" said Baureiss.
"Standing up," said the victim.
Baureiss then pulled out dolls he asked the victim to describe the positions of her and Nash when he touched her. The victim then positioned the male doll into a sitting position.
"He was sitting?" said the prosecutor.
"I was scared," said the victim as she began to cry.
The judge then ordered a brief recess. When the witness regained composure, the prosecution began questioning again.
"I was just really scared that he would hurt me," said the victim.
Baureiss then asked the victim why she chose to write about the molestation in her journal.
"I wanted to tell my teacher," said the victim.
The prosecution then asked the witness to talk about the incident with her sister where she became mad with Nash.
"She came out with scratches. And she came out with her hair all messed up," said the victim. "All over her arms, she had bruises. They were all over her legs. She had bruises on her face."
The victim then said, "he hurt me and my sister."
"Other than Justin, did anyone ever show you or did you see their private parts," said Tunnell during cross-examination.
The victim replied no one had ever exposed themselves to her.