A Shreveport man was convicted Monday, April 29, 2019, of sex attacks on a tender-age child that took place over almost four years earlier this decade.
Charles Ray Dyas Jr., 39, was 34 years old when he was arrested in 2014 of the attacks that occurred between January 2011 and March 2014 at three different residences in Caddo Parish. He was arrested after a grandmother and mother discovered text messages between a then-12-year-old girl and her best friend detailing the sexual abuse of the girl by a male step-relative. The description detailed the man touching the child’s genitals with his hand and his own genitals. The mother reported the abuse to Shreveport Police.
The child and her five younger siblings were interviewed at the Gingerbread House, a local child advocacy facility, by a trained forensic interviewer, The second-oldest child, then 11, also reported being touched on the genitals by the defendant, but the four younger siblings did not report such behavior. The two oldest children were treated at the CARA center, where they repeated the allegations to a physician.
During the trial, the six-man, six-woman jury was informed that Dyas had previously been convicted of animate-object sexual penetration and sexual battery of a 15-year-old child in Virginia. District Judge Katherine Dorroh instructed the jury that this evidence was to only be considered on the issue of the defendant’s lustful disposition toward children.
The jury rejected the defendant’s testimony that he had not touched the children and had never been alone with children, and returned a unanimous guilty verdict with regard to the first count, of the sex attack on the older child. However, the same jury returned a not-guilty verdict with regard to the attack on the younger child. The jury was not polled with regard to the second verdict.
Jury selection took place Monday, April 22, and Tuesday, April 23, 2019, with evidence and witness testimony presented Wednesday, April 24 through Friday, April 26, 2019. Closing arguments took place Monday, April 29, 2019, with jury deliberation taking one hour and 50 minutes.
Dyas was defended by Chris Hatch, and was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Jason Waltman and Nancy F. Berger-Schneider.
When Dyas returns for sentencing May 20, 2019, he faces a sentence of 25 to 99 years in prison at hard labor. However, the state plans to seek enhanced habitual-offender sentencing that will increase the possible penalty to 50 to 200 years.