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Home News-Telegram News Aggravated sexual assault of a child trial gets under way T

Aggravated sexual assault of a child trial gets under way T

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he trial of Gary Jordan Cozzens, the 39-year-old man accused on multiple counts of aggravated sexual assault of a female child, got under way Monday with testimony from medical and mental health experts, as well as law enforcement officers.

Sexual assault nurse examiner Rose Anglin testified that she was assigned to conduct an examination of the child, a relative of Cozzens who was under age 14 at the time of the offense, to see if she found any indicators supporting a sexual assault. The exam was conducted at the  Northeast Texas Child Advocacy Center in Winnsboro on Aug. 26, 2008, the same day as the referral. Anglin testified the girl reported six acts of sexual assault by Cozzens.

On questioning by Assistant District Attorney Peter Morgan, Anglin also noted difficulty in completing a physical examination due to several sores consistent with some type of sexually transmitted disease, making completion of the exam “painful for her.”

She was recently advised that the results showed strains of sexually transmitted diseases. Defense attorney Frank Long  asked why one of the tests was not further used to determine which of two specific strains of herpes the victim tested positive to determine if it’s the same strain the Cozzens has.

Long questioned whether Anglin saw any tissue damage or healing from tearing. She testified no, but noted if the incident had occurred three weeks prior to the test “you would not necessarily expect to see tearing.”

Counselor Vicki Beavers of Keller also testified that the victim’s mother notified her of the sexual allegations, and that over the past year she has talked to the now-14-year-old victim about them only “when she brought it up.” She referred the teen, who functions at a fourth grade maturity level and is considered very naive, to a support group for sexually abused children.

Beavers testified that the first mention of any sexual activity was to inform the counselor that “I have herpes.” She said when she asked the victim how she got herpes, she told her Cozzens had “touched her.” She  testified that the girl’s behavior over the last year is consistent with a child who has been sexually abused, including nightmares, guilt or shame, and anger. During one session in June, the girl drew a picture of a sexual event including the defendant and herself and explained how the act made her feel, Beavers said, pointing out on a copy of the girls’ drawing.

Long questioned whether the victim had ever mentioned any past abuse or sexual acts by other males to Beavers. He then requested a copy of the counselor’s case notes dating back to 2004 when the girl first started receiving counseling. Court halted for the day while the information was copied, but testimony with Beavers was slated to resume Tuesday morning.

Hopkins County Sheriff’s Investigator Lewis Tatum also testified Monday about collecting evidence from the defendant related to the case, as well as the process of having saliva swabs, nail clippings and blood samples tested.

Long asked Tatum who took the specimens to the lab, the dates involved in the initial outcry and interviewing of the victim. Long also asked why officials did not request that one sample not be tested to determine not only whether the victim has herpes, but which strain.

Also testifying Monday was Dr. Jamye Coffman, a pediatric  abuse specialist at Cook’s Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth, where the girl received treatment.




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