Sexual assault trial gets under way

By Brandon Evans | Published Wednesday, December 12, 2012

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A jury trial in a sexual assault case began Tuesday in the 271st District Courtroom in Decatur. Opening statements began before Judge John Fostel early afternoon.

Mark Shumski

Mark Shumski, 45, of Rhome, is accused of sexually abusing his stepdaughter from 2008 to 2011. She was between the ages of 10 to 13 at the time. The victim is now 14.

The alleged abuse over a three-year period sometimes occurred more than once a week, until the victim told a friend about it in May 2011. The friend told her to tell her mother. The victim finally told her mother, Kimberly Gandy.

She immediately confronted Shumski. He didn’t deny it.

“I told him ‘She loved you like a father,'” Gandy told the jury. “‘You were more of a dad than her father was. How could you do this?’

“He just kept saying that we need to talk about this, and we could work through this.”

Shumski is charged with continuous sexual assault of a minor less than 14 years old. It’s a first-degree felony, and if found guilty, he faces a sentence of five to 99 years or life in prison. The trial continues Wednesday morning.

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