By JOSH NEWTON
A man convicted last September of sexually abusing his adopted daughter was granted a new trial Thursday afternoon.
Stacey G. Begay is set to appear for his second jury trial beginning May 20 at 9 a.m.
He was found guilty last September and sentenced to 30 years in state prison for child sexual abuse.
Stacey recently requested a new trial after the alleged victim, Christina Begay, claimed she and Stacey had been coerced and threatened by law enforcement officials and prosecutors.
That coercion, Christina said, led to the two giving police false statements that detailed their supposed sexual relationship.
Christina Begay has also said recently that prosecutors threatened to put her adoptive parents in prison and take her baby away if she told the truth.
A hearing on the request began earlier this month and continued Thursday afternoon in front of District Judge Darrell Shepherd.
After testimony from Christina Begay, Shepherd said Christina and her adoptive mother, Terry Begay – who is facing perjury charges for testimony she gave during her husband’s first trial – have made “outlandish” statements throughout the court process. Shepherd added there “may well have been some possibly collusion on their part to pull some shenanigans with this case.”
Shepherd said his decision to grant Stacey Begay’s request was made only out of his concern that Stacey receive a fair trial.
Stacey Begay’s attorney, A.J. Garcia, then asked Shepherd if his client could be released from the Cherokee County Detention Center on the $15,000 bond he’d been given before the first trial.
Shepherd granted Stacey Begay a bond, but set it at $100,000, over Garcia’s request that it be lowered.