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Texas woman charged for what she failed to do in sex-crime case

It is possible in some circumstances to be arrested in Texas not for what you did, but what you did not do. A woman who lives about 500 miles north of Edinburg faces allegations that she failed to report the sexual abuse of an 11-year-old girl by her 56-year-old husband.

The Fort Worth woman was recently arrested on a charge of failing to report sexual abuse. The Texas Family Code requires anyone who suspects child abuse or neglect to report it to the Department of Family and Protective Services or to law enforcement officials.

A Star-Telegram article states that the man is a registered sex offender. In 2004, he was charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child by threat. He apparently pleaded guilty the next year to indecency-fondling and received deferred adjudication probation. However, his probation was revoked three years later and he was then sentenced to 8 years in prison.

The recent charges against him stem from allegations made by the 11-year-old's mother, who reporter that her daughter had told her that she had been “touched on her private parts” by the suspect.

The girl is a relative and had apparently spent the night at the home of the suspect and suspect's wife, sleeping between the two. She told her mother that she woke when she was allegedly being touched.

The girl said she told the man's wife what had happened the night before, but said the woman urged "her not to tell anyone," according to an affidavit.

The man's wife denies that the girl ever spoke to her about being inappropriately touched.

Clearly, both the husband and wife face serious sex crime charges. Before speaking with prosecutors about the allegations, they should discuss their options with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

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