A Hewitt man who was in jail on charges that he threatened a witness to the sexual assault of a young girl was charged Tuesday with the sexual assault itself.

Luke Tyrel Byrd, 26, was charged with sexual assault of a child, a second-degree felony, after he was accused of raping a 14-year-old girl between March 2018 and this February.

According to an arrest affidavit, the girl told a family member that she had been having sex with Byrd for nearly a year. The woman then took the girl to speak with authorities.

After the woman made the report, Byrd threatened to kill her with a .45 caliber handgun, police previously said. On Feb. 10 police arrested Byrd on a second-degree felony charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and a third-degree felony charge of retaliation.

Byrd remained in McLennan County Jail on Tuesday when the sexual assault charge was added. His bond is now listed at $75,000.

Kristin Hoppa has been covering public safety and breaking news for the Tribune-Herald since January 2016. She worked in Northwest Missouri covering crime-related issues before her move to Central Texas. She is a University of Kansas graduate.

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