Jury in Angelina County sex assault of a child charge recesses until Thursday morning

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - After testimony wrapped up in the jury trial of Tivirus Deshun Craft, who is accused of continuously sexually assaulting a child under the age of 14, the jury members deliberated for about two hours before they decided to recess until Thursday morning.

The jury members will resume their deliberations at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

Wednesday marked the second day of testimony in Craft's jury trial, which is being held in Judge Bob Inselmann's 217th Judicial District Court.

In February, Inselmann declared a mistrial because of a hung jury. The jury could not come to an agreement on Craft's guilt or innocence.

On Wednesday, the defense attorney argued that the victim was sexually assaulted, but the crime was committed by a family member on her father's side.

Craft was arrested on the charge back in June of 2016.

According to the arrest affidavit, a Lufkin PD detective was present when a Harold's House forensic interviewer talked to the 10-year-old victim on Oct. 5, 2015. The girl's father made the initial outcry about Craft's alleged sexual abuse of his daughter. The girl's father told police that his daughter told him that Craft had touched her inappropriately numerous times over the last three years.

The affidavit stated that the girl's father told the detective his daughter told him that Craft had touched her arm, breast, and "private area" and that he had sexually assaulted her.

A witness took the stand and said when the victim told her she was sexually assaulted by Craft, she believed her at first, but something made her thoughts change.

"I believed her at first, but the second time her story had changed," said the witness.

The witness said when then victim interviewed at Harold's House, she accused Craft of sexually assaulting her, but 30 days later, she had a conversation with the child, and she said her cousin did something to her.

The witness told the jury the victim mentioned changing her story because she wanted to protect her father.

The victim told the witness the guy that pulled down her pants was her step-mother's nephew.

"She just told me what happened. She didn't tell me an age or anything," said the witness.

The witness then reported what the victim told her to CPS.

During the state's rebuttal, the victim's father was called to the stand. The father discussed the incident with his daughter and his wife's nephew. He said they were about 6 or 7 years old at the time.

The father said he was at work, and when he arrived home, he saw his daughter and nephew playing in the room by themselves.

"Two little kids like that just playing in the room and next thing you know I heard that CPS was involved," said the victim's father.

The father said it wasn't until later when he found out CPS was investigating.

"They never contacted me about it and I hadn't heard anything about it," said the father.

The father also said he didn't know his daughter's story had changed over time.

The victim was staying with her father during all of these events.

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