An arrest warrant has been issued for Eric McGowen who failed to return to a Liberty County courtroom following a recess during the first day of his rape trial.
According to reports, McGowen failed to return after the testimony of two co-defendants who pleaded guilty in the case. One of the defendants reportedly did not see McGowen have intercourse with the girl but did see him sexually assault her.
The other co-defendant reportedly told the court that he never saw McGowen sexually assault the girl.
Despite McGowen’s disappearance from the courtroom, testimony continued.
The 13-year-old Texas girl who authorities say was sexually assaulted by McGown and 19 other men took the stand on Wednesday. In her testimony, the pre-teen told jurors that 20-year-old McGowen led her to a house in their community of Cleveland in October 2010 where she reportedly had sex with several men.
One of the prosecutors played a video of one of the alleged attacks.
If convicted, McGowen faces up to life in prison of aggravated sexual assault of a child.
He is one of 14 adults charged in the case. Two men and six juveniles have pleaded guilty.