A hung jury forced a mistrial Friday in the trial of a Waco man charged with sexually abusing a 4-year-old family member.
Jurors in 54th State District Court trying to determine the fate of Ivan Quentin Musgrove deliberated three-and-a-half hours Thursday and five hours Friday before telling Judge Matt Johnson they were deadlocked “or undecided” at 11-1.
Musgrove, 30, is charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child and, if convicted, would face a minimum of 25 years in prison up to life in the alleged August 2017 sexual abuse of a 4-year-old girl.
He rejected a 25-year plea offer before trial. No new trial date has been set.
The trial got off to a rocky start after one of the prosecutors fell ill on Tuesday and a family member of one of the jurors had an emergency medical procedure on Wednesday. The jury was selected on Monday, but testimony was unable to start until Thursday morning.
The girl, who is now 6, told her mother, a forensic interviewer and a pediatrician that Musgrove hurt her in her vaginal area with his hand and finger, and a medical exam revealed possible evidence of abuse.
Using a doll in court, the girl pointed to the genital area when prosecutor Sydney Tuggle asked her where Musgrove touched her with his finger. However, when pressed for more specific details, the girl said Musgrove touched her genital region with a leaf and not with his hand.
Tuggle told jurors in closing that the girl was trying to distance herself from the abuse when she told them Musgrove touched her with a leaf.
“Her body told you the story,” Tuggle said, referring to a vaginal tear documented in the medical exam. “He stole the most vulnerable and precious gift from this girl. Listen to what her body tells us.”
Musgrove, who did not testify during the trial, was found sleeping on the floor in the girl’s room when police came to arrest him on the sexual assault allegations.
Defense attorney Sandy Gately told jurors in summations that the girl and her siblings were living with a drug-abusing father in deplorable conditions at the time, and after two years of Child Protective Services intervention, they remain in foster care.
“Maybe she knew she would be removed from that chaotic home if she made an outcry,” Gately said.
But prosecutor Will Hix said he was dumbfounded at Gately’s assertion, saying it is hard to imagine a 4-year-old masterminding a conspiracy such as one she suggested to change her living conditions.
“How did she fake that injury?” Hix asked the jury.