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Confession allowed in Texas rape trial

Aug. 29, 2012 at 3:25 PM

LIBERTY, Texas, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- A videotaped admission of participation in the sexual assault of an 11-year-old Cleveland, Texas, girl can be used as evidence in a man's trial, a judge ruled.

Liberty County Judge Mark Morefield saw the 100-minute videotape Tuesday, in which defendant Eric Bernard McGowen, now 21, graphically admitted his role in the 2010 gang rape, and ruled it admissible in McGowen's trial. Opening statements were to begin Wednesday, the Houston Chronicle reported.

McGowen's attorney, Matthew Poston, argued his client's statements should be barred because he was illegally detained by Cleveland police when he was brought in for questioning. Prosecutor Joe Warren countered McGowen was advised of his rights before the videotaped interview.

Twenty boys and men have been charged in the assault, the newspaper noted, adding that some of those allegedly present made videos and took photographs with their cellphones.

McGowen is the first defendant to go to trial. Eight others have entered guilty pleas, the newspaper said.

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