Clark Trial Begins with Victim Taking the Stand
(New Braunfels, TX) -- New Braunfels attorney Mark Clark is on trial this week, after he pled Not Guilty to felony charges of attempted sexual assault and attempted sexual performance of a child. And yesterday, after opening statements were heard by the jury of 7 women and 5 men, the first witnesses took the stand, including the now 13-year old girl who says Clark propositioned her at his law office on Castell Street last summer.
The girl took the stand and through tears recounted the events of that day, saying that her mother had dropped her off to help Clark with paperwork. She says that’s when Clark offered her an alcoholic drink that he called lemonade and he offered her $1000 to wear lingerie and pose for pictures. She also told the jury that Clark asked her if she knew what pornography was, and if she wanted to watch some.
But on cross examination, defense attorneys pointed out that the girl has a history of lying to police, pointing out two such cases in which she lied about a neighbor stealing automotive parts from a car when she was 8, and lying about another neighbor shooting a dog when she was 10. Defense attorneys also argued that the girl may have made up claims that she had been sexually abused by her father and grandfather in order for her mother to get full custody of her. The girl denied that last allegation, saying she told the truth about the sexual abuse, but she did admit on the stand that she had lied to police about her neighbor shooting the dog.
Other testimony yesterday included New Braunfels Police Officer David Schroeder, who testified about the evidence that he found inside Clark’s law office, detailing the hidden compartment behind a clothes hamper that contained items of lingerie, sex toys, and bottles of Mike’s Hard Lemonade, an alcoholic drink matching the girl’s description. He also found the cups the girl described, and an empty bottle of the malt liquor, in a bathroom trashcan. But when cross examined by the defense, Schroeder said there were discrepancies between what the girl told him and what was found, including no evidence of pornographic videos, and the particular item of lingerie the girl said she was asked to wear wasn’t found.
The final witness of the day was a 21-year old Wimberley woman that prosecutors put on the stand to testify about a relationship she had with Clark when she was 17. She had already known him for many years, but when she became pregnant at age 17, she testified that he offered her a job at his office, but once there, he asked her how she felt about wearing lingerie, commented about her body development as a pregnant woman, and offered to take pictures of her in a hotel room in exchange for money, claiming “no one had to know.” She refused his advances, and reported the incident to police, but was told they couldn’t pursue the case because of a lack of evidence.
Prosecutors then rested their case, turning over the jury to the defense, which is expected to call their first witness when court reconvenes at 9 o’clock this morning. At this point, it’s unclear if Clark himself will take the stand. KGNB News will be in the courtroom again today, and we’ll have more updates for you on the air on AM 1420 and online at kgnb.am.