LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - During the second day of testimony in the jury trial of a Newton woman accused of manipulating a mentally disabled woman into having sex with her boyfriend at a Diboll apartment back in 2016, the jury watched a video interview of Janice Caswell talking to police.
According to an arrest affidavit, Caswell, 63, helped set up the sexual encounters with the girl at William Thomas Walley's apartment. Caswell was arrested in connection to the alleged assaults and charged with sexual assault of a disabled person. She was brought back to Angelina County after she was arrested in Newton.
Later, the Diboll police officer who interviewed Caswell. He said he collected evidence which included Walley's phone, which eventually was sent to a forensics lab.
The police officer also confirmed photograph evidence and read text message evidence. Part of the messages, he told the jury, included moments when Caswell took the blame for the circumstances and at one point "took a handful of Xanax."
"I'm thinking of taking pills to end my life," the police officer said as he read relevant messages to the jury.
Al Charanza, Caswell's defense attorney, argued by saying the police had not met the victim to determine if she was disabled or not. He added that it was an hour into the interview when the officer explained to Caswell the Texas law and that he felt the victim was disabled.
A SANE nurse took the stand next and told the jury the victim was very talkative and made eye contact, but she said she was also very child-like. The nurse said the victim did not understand the sexual nuances and definitions for a person of that age. She also told the jury about bruises which appeared on the victim.
The nurse explained to the jury the victim's health history saying it is possible her disability stems from hypoxia, which means lack of oxygen, that developed when she was baby, resulting into the seizures the victim now experiences.
The state rested after a Newton ISD educator testified saying the victim graduated high school, but her IQ was not at an age appropriate level.
Caswell took the stand to defend her position and gave a very emotional testimony. She shed more light -- telling the jury that yes she did send those messages and did tell the officer, but at that time she was very emotional. She said she did not show or manipulated the victim into having sex. It was rather Walley had who taught the victim how and what to perform.
Caswell said at one point Walley and her were having sex when the disabled woman walked in, where Caswell immediately grabbed her clothes and walked out -- while the victim approached Walley and engaged in sexual activity. The state raised doubt if Caswell made attempts to stop the acts or not, aiming to prove she took no action.
Walley's sentencing was originally scheduled for Monday. However, the sentencing hearing was postponed after Walley, 56, of Vidor, allegedly used a razor to cut himself on the forearms.
An Angelina County jury found Walley guilty of sexual assault of a disabled person back in August. A pre-sentencing investigation was conducted before Walley's sentencing hearing was scheduled for Monday morning.
When Walley was arrested back in June of 2016, he was charged with first-degree sexual assault of a disabled person.