Linden, Texas – On Thursday August 3, 2023, a Cass County jury found Aaron Michael Marshall, a 39-year-old former teacher who resides in Linden, TX guilty of continuous sexual abuse of a child, two counts of sexual assault of a child, and six counts of indecency with a child by contact.
The victim, Marshall’s adopted daughter, told the jury that he sexually abused her from ages 12 to 16, roughly between 2015 and 2019. This abuse included inappropriate touching, fondling, and digital penetration. She testified that the abuse started with touching her breasts when she was 12 and escalated from there.
The three-day trial was overseen by Judge Bill Miller. Additional testimony was heard from the victim’s mother and the wife of Marshall, the lead investigator, and a child forensic interviewer. For the defense, Marshall chose to testify, as did his sister and a friend.
According to the testimony, the abuse ceased in 2019 when the victim’s mother suspected something improper after seeing Marshall leaving her daughter’s room late at night. Although Marshall denied anything inappropriate, he did admit that he intended to touch her. The victim, fearing blame, didn’t speak up at that time.
An expert witness explained that it is common for child victims not to disclose abuse immediately due to various factors, such as closeness to the abuser and feelings of guilt and shame. The victim in this case didn’t reveal the abuse until three years later, in 2022. Once the investigation began, Marshall admitted to his now ex-wife that he had touched the victim but downplayed the extent and duration.
Investigator Cody Sartor testified that while he was working for the Cass County District Attorney’s Office in February 2022 he assisted the Linden Police Department as lead investigator due to his extensive experience investigating crimes against children. He conducted numerous interviews, obtained search warrants, and presented his findings to the magistrate judge to obtain arrest warrants on Marshall. After carefully reviewing the evidence and testimony, the 12-member jury took around two hours to reach a unanimous guilty verdict. The jury then assessed punishments at 50 years for continuous sexual abuse, 10 years for each sexual assault count, and 5 years for each indecency count. After the state made a motion to stack the sentences, Judge Miller sentenced Marshall to a cumulative total of 100 years in prison in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice – Institutional Division.
The Cass County District Attorney’s Office is extremely grateful to the jury for delivering justice to the victim and making sure that Marshall is never able to harm another child. We would also like to recognize the contributions of the Linden Texas police department, Texas Attorney General Investigator Cody Sartor, and forensic interviewer Maureen Fletcher from the Texarkana Children’s Advocacy Center. Their cooperation and dedication were vital to seeking justice for the victim in this case.
Marshall was arrested back in Feb. 2022 after an investigation by the Linden Police Department was opened due to accusations of sexual abuse of a child from 2016 through 2020. He was initially charged with
6 counts of indecency with a child by contact, 3 counts of sexual assault of a child, and 1 count of continuous sexual assault of a child. Marshall was employed by Hughes Springs ISD when he was arrested, both the school district and the DA’s office said the victim did not attend school there.