07/06/11 — Jury sought for sexual assault case

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Jury sought for sexual assault case

By Gary Popp
Published in News on July 6, 2011 1:46 PM

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News-Argus/GARY POPP

David Arron Roberts watches potential jurors enter the courtroom after Roberts rejected a plea agreement in his trial for multiple sexual assaults against children.

As jury selection began Tuesday afternoon, defendant David Arron Roberts rejected a plea deal that would have reduced the number of charges against him to one.

Roberts, 32, is facing felonious charges of first-degree statutory sex offense and taking indecent liberties with a child.

Before the pool of jurors was brought into the courtroom, Assistant District Attorney Paige Rouse offered Roberts a plea deal that would have allowed the Dudley man to plead guilty to one count of first-degree sex offense.

After discussing the offer with his attorney, Charles Gurley, Roberts rejected the prosecutor's offer.

The jury selection is scheduled to resume this morning.

The charges faced by Roberts stem from alleged offenses that took place between Oct. 1 and Nov. 24, 2009.

Roberts is being accused of victimizing a girl who was 5 years old at the time.

During the first day of the trial, the young victim sat in the courtroom on her father's lap, often resting her head on his shoulder. The girl's mother and grandmother were also nearby.

The case is being heard in the Wayne County Superior Court with Resident Superior Court Judge Jay Hockenbury from New Hanover County presiding.