NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The bench trial of a former Nacogdoches pharmacist facing multiple charges of sexual assault of a minor in connection to allegations that he set up a paid sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl back in October of 2014 got underway Tuesday.
Stanley Turner, 65, appeared in the 145th Judicial District Court before visiting judge Guy Griffin. Judge Campbell Cox recused himself from the case.
All charges against Turner were dismissed with the exception of one, and he pleaded guilty to that charge. The defense attorney asked the judge to consider the admission of guilt until the end of the punishment phase of the trial.
In opening remarks of the punishment phase, the state told the judge evidence will be presented against Turner about how he had sex with the victim and then drove the victim and her friend to a store to buy hair products. The state told the judge he will hear more details on how he made contact with the victim's mother in order to pay her to make the case go away.
The defense attorney told the judge that Turner was experiencing a challenging time at home. He said Turner was a good man, with no prior convictions and made a living in Nacogdoches as a pharmacist. The defense attorney said that there was some distance between Turner and his wife of almost three decades due to health reasons.
The first witness to take the stand was the victim's mother. She said her child was missing for almost five days back in August of 2014. She told the judge the circumstances about how her daughter went missing and actions she took to find and locate her.
The victim's mother said that she picked up her daughter at the police department several days later. She said her daughter was withdrawn and her personality has changed dramatically. She said her daughter clung to her a lot. After picking her daughter up from the police station, the mother took her daughter to get examined at Harold's House.
She said several months later in October, Turner contacted her. She said that another woman also had contacted her. She said Turner wanted to pay her money to help make the case go away. She said the victim was withdrawn from engaging in social activities indicating that she was in emotional pain from the sexual assault. Two law enforcement officials also testified saying a couple months later, Turner contacted the mother in order to silence the victim and herself from meeting with authorities of alleged crimes. The mother agreed to meet Turner at a location in Lufkin where authorities then arrested Turner and found a check in his wallet.The victim mother's said she participated in the sting operation in order to make sure no one else become a victim.
According to arrest affidavits, Turner allegedly offered to pay the girl's mother $2,000 if the victim told police the sexual encounter did not happen.
Turner was originally charged with solicitation of a prostitute under the age of 18 and sexual assault of a child. Later, the Nacogdoches Police Department filed two additional charges - tampering with a witness and trafficking - against him.
An arrest affidavit stated that a Nacogdoches Police Department officer responded to Lufkin Memorial Hospital on Aug. 25 in response to a juvenile sexual assault victim. The officer learned that the 14-year-year-old girl had been reported as a runaway in Lufkin earlier that month and had been found in Nacogdoches.
The 14-year-old girl allegedly told the officer that she had sex with more than one adult male while she was staying in Nacogdoches. The girl added that she had been paid for some of the sexual encounters the affidavit stated.
When the girl talked to a forensic investigator at Harold's House, she said that one of the men she had sex with was an older white man that was known to her as "Stan." She also said that she had been told that he was a pharmacist.
An employee at Omnicare Nacogdoches, a pharmaceutical care facility on South Street, confirmed that Turner was employed as a manager there.
In addition, the victim told the interviewer that while she was staying in Nacogdoches, she met a woman she knew as "Shay," who told her that she could set up a paid sexual encounter with a man, the affidavit said. The woman, who was later identified as Marashia Robinson, of Nacogdoches, then set up the sexual encounter at her apartment on Pearl Street.
After the alleged sexual encounter, "Stan" took the victim and another juvenile to a Nacogdoches business to buy items with the money the victim had received from "Stan," the affidavit stated.
Nacogdoches PD detectives identified the man the girl knew as "Stan" as Stanley Turner. When Turner was brought in for questioning he admitted to meeting the victim in a back room of the apartment and making a money transaction with her before taking her and another juvenile to a store, according to the affidavit. However, he allegedly denied having a sexual encounter with the 14-year-old girl.
Robinson was brought in for questioning as well. During the interview with NPD detectives, she allegedly admitted to setting up a paid sexual encounter between Turner and the 14-year-old girl. She told police that she went outside during the actual act, and claimed that she was unaware that the girl was a juvenile, the affidavit stated.
Robinson was arrested and charged with felony trafficking.