BELTON — Both the defense and prosecution wrapped up their cases Friday, each attempting to paint the teenager who said she had a sexual relationship with a former Killeen police officer in a different light.
Galveston attorney Anthony Griffin continued to focus on the story the then-16-year-old girl first told police about her relationship with former officer Kirt Yarbrough, facing trial for sexual assault — that she was her mother’s “prostitute toy.”
The alleged victim was a student in a youth outreach program Yarbrough, 54, supervised before Killeen Police Department suspended and eventually fired the 16-year veteran.
Police interviewed the girl after her mother found a picture on her cellphone of the teen kissing Yarbrough.
In her first meeting with police, she claimed her mother set up the entire relationship as a way to extort money from Yarbrough. Her mother wanted her to get pregnant so she could collect child support, the girl first told police. Police took the story seriously and had Child Protective Services remove her from her mother’s care, Detective Fred Harris testified.
But police called her in for a second interview on suspicion that she had more than one alleged sexual encounter with Yarbrough.
Harris said he repeatedly lied to the girl during the second interview to get to the bottom of her story. He told the court he mentioned that he was a good friend of Yarbrough’s, and that Yarbrough had already told him the entire story.
When Harris brought up a pet name Yarbrough had given the girl, he testified the girl abruptly changed her story. She then told police she acted alone, and that she had a second sexual encounter with Yarbrough at a hotel in Temple on Dec. 19 after a Dec. 13 meeting at a hotel in Copperas Cove.
Police now believe that Yarbrough and the girl began “dating” as far back as October 2010, when the girl was 15. Police showed text messages from February 2011 where the two repeatedly expressed their love for each other.
In total, police analyzed more than 7,500 text messages exchanged between the two from Aug. 13, 2011, to Dec. 28.
The large volume of evidence obtained through electronic equipment has repeatedly been used by the prosecution as evidence that a sexual relationship exists.
Police have no physical evidence that Yarbrough and the teenager ever engaged in sex acts, but phone records have shown the two were both in the area of the hotels in Temple and Copperas Cove when the alleged incidents occurred. Police also obtained a surveillance photo of Yarbrough and the girl in a hallway at a Copperas Cove hotel.
Detective Keith Drozd told the court Friday he amassed more than two terabytes of data for the case taken from 10 electronic devices. Those included a laptop and an iPhone Yarbrough purchased for the girl.
Closing arguments will begin at 9 a.m. Monday in the 426th District Court. Judge Fancy Jezek is presiding.
Contact Philip Jankowski at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7553