LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Day two of the trial of a Lufkin man accused of sexually assaulting two underage girls after getting them high on meth featured testimony from an Angelina County Sheriff's Office detective and forensics specialists.
Brandon Pipkin, 39, was arrested in 2014 on the charges. He is facing four counts and had pleaded not guilty to the charges. According to the arrest affidavit, members of the ACSO Criminal Investigation Division were notified of a 911 call in which a 17-year-old girl told the dispatcher that she had been drugged and sexually assaulted by Pipkin.
The girl told the dispatcher that Pipkin had forced her to take meth and then sexually assaulted her. When the ACSO investigators spoke to the girl and another 15-year-old girl that had been at the same location said they would either smoke the meth or snort the substance in its powdered form, the affidavit stated.
Both girls allegedly told the investigators that Pipkin had told them on numerous occasions how sexually aroused he got when he was high on the meth. The 17-year-old girl also told the investigators that on Nov. 30, she and Pipkin snorted meth, and she passed out, the affidavit stated.
The day was scheduled to continue with the testimony of the 15 year-old victim but prosecutor Art Bauereiss was granted permission to interrupt the questioning and go to different witnesses. The first witness would be Libby Hancock, a detective with the Angelina County Sheriff's Office.
Hancock said she was responsible for collecting samples from the two victims. Hancock said she got several samples from the two victims as well as a swab sample from Pipkin's mouth.
Jessica Lake, forensic scientist for Houston DPS then talked about the samples that were sent to her office by Officer Robert Willmon with the ACSO. She said her responsibility was to look for DNA on the body swabs that were sent to her. Lake told Bauereiss and defense attorney John Tunnel that they did not find sperm on the samples.
Lake told Tunnel she was not sure if they could not find it because of a slow sperm count, bathing, urination, or if a condom was used. Lake said the notes on the test said they were unsure if a condom was used and that there is not a test that would show if a condom was used.
"It is possible to detect [if a condom was used]," Lake said.
Lake agreed with Tunnel that a logical possibility would be that no sperm was found due to no activity. Lake said material she has studied shows that sperm could be present up to seven days from activity.
Lake said there was a blood sample taken.
"The lack of sperm said there is not enough to detect, it is somewhere else, or contact did not happen," Lake said to Bauereiss.
Andria Smith with the Texas Department of Public Safety lab in Houston then shared results of the swabs that she tested. She said the DNA profile on the samples she was given all matched the victim. Bauereiss asked about the chance of not finding a defendant's DNA in an assault.
"Sometimes we have so much of the victim's DNA that it can mask a smaller profile," Smith said.
Ashley Kibbie with the Houston DPS lab then answered questions about what she was able to determine from the samples. Kibbie said she did an amplification test on the samples. Kibbie said they looked at male DNA but could not say whose DNA it was on a fingernail scrapping.
"No conclusions could be drawn to Brandon Pipkin being a contributor," Kibbie said.
She continued and told Tunnel that it was not contributed to the victim. and she will never be able to say if it belongs to Pipkin or another male because there is not enough information there.
Michelle Mellow with the DPS crime lab in Austin talked about her screening process for drugs.
Mellow said the urine sample they tested showed that meth had been used by the victim, but it could not show a time frame as to when the meth was used. The crime lab technician told Tunnel that the length meth stays in the system it is hard to tell based on how often they use, the amount used and the chemical makeup of urine.
"It is possible to see it in urine for a week, and it is possible for a binge user to see it more than a week," Mellow said.
After the conclusion of the forensic scientists, the 15 year-old alleged victim got on the stand to continue her testimony.
The alleged victim said on a day sometime after Thanksgiving, she took meth with Pipkin.
"I felt very heavy and tired," she said. "He then started to grab and rub my breasts. I started to cry, and I wanted to tell him to stop, but I couldn't. He started rubbing my genital area."
The victim said Pipkin later told her that she couldn't tell anyone he had molested her. She said she never told anyone. She said his breathing was heavy and ragged.
She said when she was talked to by the sheriff's office about the alleged incident, she was still on drugs.
"I was really weak and starting to feel sick at my stomach," she said. "I took drugs the day before."
The alleged said victim on a second visit she gave a urine sample to Libby Hancock and a second written statement.
"On the second written statement I told Libby that [Pipkin] had molested me," she said.
The alleged victim said in the following days she had anxiety attacks and felt sick because of withdrawals from the drugs. She said she did not have any problems with more drug use but had nightmares about the incident until last August when insurance was finally able to get her counseling.
"[I've gone to] at least 40 or 45 sessions," she said.
She told Tunnel that when she first spoke to Detective Harold Rapsilver, she said no when he asked her if she had been using drugs.
"When he asked me I said, no because I thought I would get in trouble if I said I had used drugs," the alleged victim said.
After a lunch break, the younger victim said she told Rapsilver that Pipkin had not acted like that before when she heard about what happened to the other victim.
The second time the younger victim was questioned by Libby she denied drugs until she told her about the drug test. She said she later told Libby about the molestation after she spent time with the other victim but had not talked to her.
The alleged victim had been up about 16 hours and was trying to avoid bringing trouble on herself. She said she went back the second time because she was fearful for the rest of her life.
Former ACSO Lt. Pete Maskunas discussed his part of the case that involved arriving at the scene. Maskunas said he broke up duties among the detectives.
Maskunas said he went to the station to conduct an interview with Pipkin. The interview between the two was then played in court.
The first thing Pipkin told Maskunas is, "I don't know why I am here."
In the recording, Pipkin said he knew when he pulled up at home that deputies got him because of meth in the vehicle but did not know why he was answering questions.
After being read his rights, Pipkin said, "Normally, I would talk, but I do not know why I am here. I am completely lost on the allegation."
When told of the allegation, Pipkin said, "What? No, no, no!"
In the recording, Pipkin said he had been taking meth since he was 17 and then had got off of it for about four years.
Maskunas read some text messages that showed Pipkin excited to buy meth for him and another person.
When Maskunas told Pipkin that they had physical evidence he continued to say, "No way."… "I am telling the truth."
"I made a mistake providing them dope, but I did not have sex with them," Pipkin said.
"You can make amends, you can change this," Maskunas said.
Maskunas told Pipkin in the tape that it was bad that he had sex with the two girls, but it is worse that he is putting the blame on them. Maskunas also told Pipkin that if he does not admit to it these girls would have to go to court and relive these bad events.