Lufkin man accused of sexually assaulting 2 girls denies any inappropriate behavior

Lufkin man accused of sexually assaulting 2 girls denies any inappropriate behavior
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The trial of an Angelina County man accused of sexually assaulting two girls multiple times continued Wednesday morning.

Brian Garrett, 35, has been charged with three counts of sexual assault of a child. In 2014, the two victims made an outcry to Harold's House about the alleged assaults.

Testimony started with the continuation of questioning of Patricia Garrett. On Tuesday, Patricia Garrett told the court she first met her husband when they served in the Army Reserves. Patricia Garrett said after she had her last child, her and Brian's sex life diminished. That was also around the time of the alleged incidents with the two victims.

Patricia told prosecuting attorney John Peralta that she is set to divorce Garrett coming up in August.

Counselor Emily Havard then discussed her interaction with victims Jane and Marry Doe. Havard became certified in 2011 to handle patients who have experienced trauma.

"We try to reduce the traumatic symptoms," Havard said. "We help teach them to cope with what happened."

Havard said there are trust and self-esteem issues in children that have experienced sexual assault.

"There is depression, post-traumatic stress disorder," Havard said.  "Anger and behavioral problems are most common."

Havard told Peralta that it is possible to have a delayed outcry and added that she sees that very often. Havard said every child is different and some do come forward at first.

"The three main reasons they don't outcry is that they do not think they will be believed, they think they will get hurt, and nine times out of 10 they are being abused  by family," Havard said.

Havard said she saw the victims in March of 2014.

"Both girls demonstrated a lot of anger issues," Havard said. "There was a lot of self-esteem, body image issues. There was suicidal urges and a lot of psychiatric needs."

Havard said she saw the girls in 2013, but they did not talk much about the abuse. Havard said at the March 2014 visits they did talk and said they did not the first time because they felt threatened.

Havard told defense attorney John Tunnell that the symptoms suffered by sexual abuse victims can go on for a long time.

After Havard, the court heard from one of the two victims, who was identified as Jane Doe.

Jane Doe told Peralta that Garrett forced her to have oral sex.

"It happened a lot," Jane Doe said.

Jane Doe said it happened in a truck as wells as a in a bathroom and a bedroom.

"It was sometimes in [a truck] and sometimes out [a truck]," Jane Doe said.

After more questions, Jane Doe spoke on who knew what was happening.

"He told me if I told anyone he would scare me for life, but I'm not scared right now because I have the courage to do it because God is with me," Jane Doe said.

The other alleged victim known as Mary Doe took the stand next.

Mary Doe said that when she went to do the interviews at Harold's House, Garrett told her not to tell what happened.

The alleged victim said it was at least once a week that she was forced to have oral sex with Garrett. Mary Doe said it started in 2012.

Mary Doe said Garrett also tried to have sex with her.

"It hurt," Mary Doe said. "He tried to use a clear gel that came from CVS."

Mary Doe said he also used other objects.

Mary Doe said the sexual assaults would happen in a house and on a trail he would take her to in his truck.

Mary Doe said she came to court to let people know what Garrett did to her.

Later Wednesday, it was the defense's turn to call witnesses to the stand.

Cortlin Gunter was the defense's first witness. Gunter said she became a friend of the family after Garrett came over and fixed the roof at her family's home.

"I was close with everyone involved," Gunter told Peralta. "I never saw anything. My father is out of the picture and they took me under their family. He is a father figure to me.

Allen Doyle, another one of Garrett's acquaintances said that he was around Garrett often, and he didn't see anything.

"I am aware that he sexually assaulted another person, but it's an allegation," Doyle said.

Doyle said Brian Garrett took him in.

"I was stranded at Love's Truck stop and Brian and Patricia took me in," Doyle said. "There was never a more loving family."

Ruby Garrett, the mother of Brian Garrett, told the jurors that she lived with Garrett and did not see anything suspicious.

"There was no sexual misconduct," Ruby Garrett said.

Taking the stand in his own defense, Brian Garrett said that allegations aren't true. He told Tunnell that the statements about him telling the victims not to go to authorities were not true.

Garrett told Tunnell the story from Anne Doe is not true.

"She didn't have a swim suit," Garrett said. "She had to borrow a shirt and boxers."

Garrett said there was nothing sexual there.

"I treated her like my little sister," Garrett said. "I bought her school stuff, I took her places. There was never any accusations until June that this had happened. For several years, I was around her with nothing happening."

Garrett told Peralta that he had viewed pornography in his life, and he did have a pornographic image on his phone. Garrett said it was not of his wife and that he was going to be sent to his friend as a joke.

Garrett said he believes sexual assault is a serious matter.

Garrett told Peralta that he was alone with Jane Doe and Mary Doe at times but nothing happened.

Garrett told Peralta that he did stop having sex with his wife while she was pregnant.

"I am not sexually attracted to pregnant women," Garrett said.

Garrett also said he had suffered an injury to his "private area" around that same time.

When showed a photo of the child's reproductive area, Garrett said, "I am not going to look at a picture of a girl's area."

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