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Texarkana father and son indicted for alleged sexual abuse of 7-year-old girl

Child allegedly given candy for playing secret game by Lynn LaRowe | October 14, 2021 at 2:17 p.m.
David Fant, Hayden Fant

TEXARKANA, Texas -- A Texarkana father and son accused of abusing a 7-year-old girl have been indicted for the most serious sexual offense under Texas law.

David Ernest Fant, 58, and Hayden David Fant, 21, were arrested by Texarkana, Texas, police in May 2020 accused of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14. A Bowie County grand jury issued separate indictments Thursday formally charging both men with the crime.

If convicted of continous sexual abuse of a child under 14, father and son each face 25 to 99 years or life in prison, and there is no parole from any sentence imposed. Now that a grand jury has found probable cause and issued indictments, the criminal cases against the Fants can begin proceeding forward toward resolution by a plea agreement or trial.

David Fant and Hayden Fant were arrested May 27, 2020. Both were released on bonds of $200,000 after spending one night in jail.

All three of the district judges and the district attorney's office serving Bowie County have recused from the cases. Conflicts that lead to recusals typically occur when a defendant is known to a judge or prosecutor through personal or professional association.

A deputy attorney general is prosecuting the cases, and Senior District Judge Lauren Parish has been appointed to preside over both matters.

The alleged victim was 7 when she made an outcry of sexual abuse in the spring of 2020.

The girl allegedly told investigators that David Fant, whom she referred to as "Captain," would direct and watch from a peach or coral-colored chair as she and Hayden Fant played the "game" in their bathing suits on the floor of a den in the Fant home in Texarkana, Texas, according to a probable cause affidavit. The girl reported the abuse occurred when she visited during summers and spring vacations beginning in March 2018 and ending in March 2020.

"She stated that when the game starts, she has to put in the password on the wall and push a button that says 'done.' She stated that the password is 1226 and she then has to put a handprint on the wall," the affidavit states.

The girl described the password and handprint process as "pretend so the game is secret."

The girl allegedly said that she does not like the game but if she refuses to play, "Captain and Hayden will not give her candy." Those treats included gum, chocolate and suckers, the affidavit states.

The next step for father and son will be arraignment hearings, though a date scheduling them is not listed on case dockets. Records show that Hayden Fant is represented by Texarkana lawyer John Pickett and David Fant is represented by Longview lawyer Jason Cassel.

Print Headline: Texarkana father and son indicted for alleged sexual abuse of 7-year-old girl

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