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Hung jury declared in trial of Groves man charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child

He faced anywhere from 25 to 99 years or life in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

BEAUMONT, Texas — The trial of a 41-year-old Groves man accused of committing sex crimes against a child has ended with a hung jury.

Michael Lawrence Pousson is charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child, which is a first-degree felony, according to Jefferson County Jail records. He was indicted on the charge on January 26, 2022.

Both sides rested their cases late Friday afternoon, May 12, 2023.

The jury began deliberating Friday for about an hour and then began again on Monday, May15, 2023, before the impasse was reached just after 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 16, 2023.

A hung jury means that jurors were unable to reach a verdict. It is unknown currently when or if the district attorney's office will retry Pousson on the charges.

If he had been found guilty, Pousson would have faced anywhere from 25 to 99 years or life in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. His punishment had been set to be decided by the jury.

Pousson is currently being held in the Jefferson County Jail on bonds totaling $200,000.

The trial comes after a victim, who officials said was only 7 years old at the time, made an outcry to police. The child was interviewed at the Garth House following the outcry.

Credit: JCSO

Related: Jury selection in trial of man charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child began Monday

Jury selection in the trial began Monday, and testimony began Tuesday. Jefferson County Assistant District Attorney Tatiana Zelezniak read the indictment in court charging Pousson with a first-degree felony.

When Judge Raquel West asked Pousson how he pleaded, he said, "Not guilty."

In her opening statements, Zelezniak told the jury the assaults began when the victim was 5 years old. Zelezniak said the jury will hear testimony from the child.

Zelezniak said the child would tell the jury how she eventually told an adult what happened and explain how Pousson came to have access to her. 

The attorney told members of the jury they would hear from two forensic nurses who would explain how the evidence they collected showed the child was assaulted more than once.

Pousson's defense attorney, Laurie Perozzo, began her opening statements by telling the jury about the type of reports and physical evidence that was collected in the case. She said the jury would learn that the victim's mother continued to call and text Pousson until he was arrested.

Perozzo said none of the text messages are related to the alleged assault.

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