WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A suspect in a 2014 child sexual assault case who police said eluded arrest and then failed to show for court hearings and was placed on the Most Wanted list, has finally had his day in court.
Actually, it was several days in court.
And after asking for a jury trial, Kristopher Curtis Neal, 29, was found not guilty on both counts.
Once this long-delayed case finally got to the jury room after a week-long trial in 89th District Court, it does not sound like an easy decision for the six-man, six-woman jury, with 3 alternates.
The jury sent several questions to the judge during deliberation which he could not answer because they were asking about direct testimony they had heard themselves.
After going into deliberation Thursday afternoon, June 16, the jury later sent out another note, saying they would like to leave, and come back Friday to make their decision.
Judge Charles Barnard instructed them to continue to deliberate after having a 15-minute break.
Another question they asked was if they haven’t made a decision, could they be dismissed?
Finally, the jury came to their decision to acquit Neal, ending an almost 8-year-old case.
Neal was first charged in September 2015 and indicted in January 2016.
The affidavit alleged that the mother of a 14-year-old girl told police she found messages between her daughter and Neal, then 22, indicating a sexual encounter the year before.
The alleged victim was interviewed and said the encounter happened after she had been communicating with Neal on social media and he arranged to come to pick her and a friend up and took them to his apartment on Barnett Road.
The alleged victim said Neal provided them with alcohol and they began playing drinking games and later in the evening, he had her perform a sexual act on him.
The alleged victim describe details of Neal’s apartment and the movie that was playing. Police said the other 14-year-old girl gave police the same details and said Neal had performed a sexual act on her.
Neal was questioned in February 2015 and police said he admitted knowing the two girls but said they had never been inside his apartment and nothing sexual had ever happened with them.
Neal confirmed their descriptions of his apartment and that he did own a copy of the movie they said was playing.
After the arrest warrant was issued in September 2015, the case would be delayed by the search for Neal, arrests, release on bond, then new arrest warrants for failure to appear. He was named a fugitive and police appealed to the public for help in finding him.
Neal was arrested in October 2015 and released on bond. He failed to show up for court hearings and was rearrested in September 2017, and released on bond.
Neal again had an arrest warrant issued and was subsequently placed on Crime Stoppers Most Wanted list and booked back into jail in December 2018.
In November 2021 Neal was again arrested after police said he ran from them while they were investigating an assault at a bar on Southwest Parkway, and when caught, he gave them a false name. They identified him as Neal and said he had outstanding arrest warrants from another county.
Now, about 8 years after he was alleged to have committed the crimes with the two girls, Neal, who has no other convictions, is no longer an accused sex offender, a fugitive, or an inmate.