Day long jury selection delays testimony in Nacogdoches sexual assault trial

Day long jury selection delays testimony in Nacogdoches sexual assault trial

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Caleb Eaves will have to wait one more day to hear testimony in his sexual assault trial.

The trial was set to begin Monday afternoon but a longer than expected jury selection in the morning delayed the opening arguments. The final jury panel was selected around 4 p.m. The jurors were released around 4:30 p.m. and were told that opening arguments would happen shortly after 9 a.m.

Eaves was arrested in July in connection to allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman while he was giving her a professional massage at his home.

According to the arrest affidavit, the victim made the initial outcry to the sheriff's office on July 10. After a report was taken, a SANE exam was conducted on the woman. The exam revealed that she had an injury that was consistent with her claim that she had been sexually assaulted.

When the alleged victim talked to a Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office investigator on July 11, she told him that after she received a gift certificate for a massage from a friend, she went to Eaves' home in the 200 block of County Road 415 to redeem it.

"You don't expect it to happen when you go to a business and get taken advantage, but that's what happened here," said Nacogdoches Sheriff Jason Bridges.

During the massage, Eaves allegedly removed the woman's underwear and told her to turn over onto her back. Then Eaves began massaging the woman's genital area and sexually assaulted her by penetrating her vagina with his fingers, the affidavit stated.

"Unfortunately, we handle a lot of sexual assaults in our county and we take all of these serious," Bridges said.

Later, the NCSO investigator interviewed Eaves, and Eaves admitted to sexually assaulting the woman with his fingers and touching her breasts, the affidavit stated. In response to a question about why he sexually assaulted the woman, Eaves replied that he did it because the woman was "cute, young, and free," the affidavit stated.

According to the affidavit, Eaves acknowledged that the sexual assault was wrong and said that he knew sexually assaulting a client was unethical for a massage therapist.

"Caleb Eaves also admitted that he gave a discount to college students who came to his residence for a massage, and the majority of his business came from his wife, a professor at SFA, referring female students to him," the affidavit stated.

"We have not identified any other victims at this point," Bridges said. "There was a statement made that leads us to believe this has occurred before."

SFA spokesperson Dr. Shirley Luna said the school is aware of the incident and has launches an investigation.

"We are currently in the summer II term and the faculty member in question was not scheduled to teach this session," Luna said. "If an employee were involved in the alleged behavior it would not be tolerated by the university."

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