BEAUMONT, Texas — The trial for a man charged with 10 counts of sex crimes against children is underway.
Albert Wendell Sells was indicted on nine counts in 2019 and an additional count was filed in 2021. While Sells is charged with 10 counts of sex crimes against children, he is only standing trial for one of the counts, continuous sexual assault of a child.
The trial began Tuesday, with Judge John Stevens presiding. Sells sat quietly in a courtroom as the indictment was read.
When asked by the Judge Stevens how he would plea, Sells said, “not guilty.”
Prosecutor Tatiana Zelezniak began opening statements by telling the jury they would hear testimony about the reality of child sexual abuse. She said the jury would also hear about how a girl faced, “almost routine abuse.”
Zelezniak said the victim was told to respect her elders by people who did not realize what was happening to her, until she was old enough to know what was happening was not normal.
The defense attorney told the jury they will hear facts and evidence in a tough case. The attorney said there were many opportunities where the victim could have made an outcry but did not until she was an adult.
The defense attorney said the jury will learn there is no physical evidence and not enough “pieces in this puzzle,” to find Sells guilty. He said the jury would be the ultimate judge.
If Sells is found guilty, he faces anywhere from 25 to 99 years or life in prison and a $10,00 fine. If he is found guilty, the jury will decide his punishment.
This is a developing story. We will update with more if and when we receive more confirmed information.
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