A jury will begin hearing arguments today in the trial of a man accused of sexually assaulting his 14-year-old stepdaughter.
The jury was seated Thursday, ending the likelihood that the trial of Yedidiyah Hawkins, 40, would be delayed a fifth time.
The trial begins at 9 a.m. today in the 42nd District Court in Abilene. Proceedings have been postponed four times for various reasons, including allowing time for DNA testing on Hawkins, his wife, a 2-year-old child and a 14-year-old child. It was most recently delayed Monday for the observation of a holiday of the House of Yahweh, a religious sect with a number of members living in Callahan County.
Aggravated sexual assault of a child is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.