Thursday, August 30, 2012
African-American Eric McGowen has been sentenced to 99 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of aggravated sexual assault of a child in the first trial stemming from the horrific gang-rape of a Texas 11-year-old - but the 20-year-old black male is still missing after brazenly escaping from court
McGowen has been convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a child and faces up to life in prison for his part in the shocking attacks, which saw the girl, now 13, gang-raped by 20 black males on multiple occasions in an abandoned trailer. McGowen is one of 14 adults accused of having sex with the girl. Six boys also are charged in the case. There is a belief among many in the predominantly black neighborhood where several of the suspects live that the arrests were racially motivated. All of the suspects are black, while the female victim is Hispanic. Two other adults have previously pleaded guilty, with one receiving a 15-year prison term and the other awaiting sentencing. Six juveniles who were charged have also previously pleaded guilty. They received 7-year prison terms, but their sentences were suspended and they were put on probation for that amount of time. Most of the adult defendants in the case face charges of aggravated sexual assault of a child, while four face a charge of continuous sexual abuse of a child.