WACO, Texas (KWTX) – The mother of an 8-year-old girl testified Tuesday that her daughter told her that Charles Bradshaw, a family member, sexually abused her in July 2019 at a home they shared in Bellmead.
Bradshaw, 21, is on trial in Waco’s 19th State District Court on a charge of aggravated sexual assault of a child.
In prosecution testimony Tuesday, the child’s mother and the associate director of the Advocacy Center for Crime Victims and Children both told the jury of six women and six men that the girl reported that Bradshaw forced her to put his penis in her mouth while Bradshaw was naked in his bedroom at a home in the 1100 block of Gilliam Street.
However, when prosecutors Will Hix and Tara Avants called the girl, who is now 8, to the witness stand, the girl grew quiet and said she could not remember if anything happened to her in Bradshaw’s bedroom. She also told Hix that she could remember telling Kerry Burkley of the Advocacy Center about the abuse in a forensic interview conducted less than two hours after the reported incident.
Asked if she remembers circling her mouth in an illustration when Burkley asked where Bradshaw touched her with his “private parts,” the girl told Hix that she wasn’t looking at the anatomical drawing. “I wasn’t looking at the picture,” she said. “I was just looking at me.”
“You were just looking at you?” Hix asked. “Why were you doing that?”
“Because I’m cute,” the girl said, drawing laughter from the jurors and courtroom spectators.
The girl did tell Hix that she would never make up a story to get Bradshaw, whom she called “Bubba,” in trouble.
The girl’s mother said she came home early from work and was looking for her daughter and her son, who is a year older than his sister.
She said she found the boy asleep in his bed, but her daughter, who shared a room with her brother, was not there. She went into Bradshaw’s room and found him naked in bed with the 5-year-old girl, she said.
She said the girl was frightened and crying and would not come to her or allow her to comfort her.
“She wouldn’t let me touch her at all,” she said. “That is not normal at all, because she is a mama’s baby.”
She said she screamed at Bradshaw, a family member, and grabbed a baseball bat. While her first inclination was to use the bat on Bradshaw, she said she left the house with her two young children and drove to a relative’s home on Trice Avenue in Waco, where she said the girl told her that Bradshaw put his penis in her mouth .
She called the police to report the incident and was told to meet investigators at the Advocacy Center, she said.
“It’s just a hard thing for a mother to see her child like that,” she said.
Under cross-examination from defense attorney Abel Reyna, the woman acknowledged that she and Bradshaw had gotten into a physical confrontation at the end of May 2019. The harsh feelings continued so much in subsequent weeks that a family member intervened to try to make peace between the two, Reyna said.
Reyna also asked about the “heated argument” she had with Bradshaw on the Sunday before the alleged incident. Reyna also noted discrepancies in the woman’s testimony and in her statement to the police about whether the girl was naked when she found her in bed with Bradshaw.
The girl told Burkley she was clothed.
Burkley testified the girl told him that Bradshaw sexually abused her. He said she got down on her knees in the interview room to demonstrate the position she was in when the alleged incident occurred.
The girl’s brother, who is now 9, told the jury he remembers Bradshaw coming into their room and telling his sister to come into his room with him. He said he didn’t see or hear anything after that until his mother came home and “was screaming and acting crazy.” He said his sister was “all scared and crying” before they went to a relative’s home to call the police.
Hix and Avants rested their case Tuesday afternoon after the testimony of Waco psychologist Lee Carter. Reyna will call defense witnesses when the trial resumes Wednesday morning.
If convicted, Bradshaw faces a minimum of 25 years with no parole and up to life in prison with no parole.
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