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Accused takes stand on 2nd day of trial

Gainesville Daily Register - 7/12/2018

July 11--A 34-year-old Gainesville man accused of continuous sexual abuse of a child took the stand during his jury trial in the 235th District Courtroom on Wednesday morning at the Cooke County Courthouse.

Andrew Colby Livingston admitted to not only kissing a 12-year-old girl but having sex with her.

"Yes we had a relationship," Livingston said. "I don't know how to tell you that she wanted it, but she definitely wanted this relationship."

State presents opening statement, first witness in child sex case

Livingston is representing himself, and while presenting his side of the case, he told Judge Janelle Haverkamp he wanted to take the stand.

Gainesville-based attorney James Moss is sitting in on the trial with Livingston in an advisory-only capacity.

On Tuesday, First Assistant District Attorney Eric Erlandson described to jurors how the stage alleges Livingston inappropriately touched, kissed and had sex with a child over the course of about three years.

Livingston said he and the child lived together "as a couple" and claimed the two agreed that they should marry.

He testified he and the girl knew "no court in America would marry us."

Livingston also alleged the girl told him that she would masturbate on him while he was asleep.

"In different elements like that it built up from the other side. I know it sounds like I've done all this approaching but it's not been that way," he said during his testimony.

Livingston said he wasn't sure how to feel about the sexual relationship with the girl at first.

"Then I realized the only reason it bothered me is because it bothers everybody else," he said. "...If all of you weren't here to judge me or look at me...You don't know how I feel and you never will. And you don't know how she felt and you never will."

Livingston said the victim, who is now 16, is "a lot like me" and "we both think the same."

The Register's policy is generally not to name victims of crimes of a sensitive nature.

"When I met her it was kind of like finding somebody that was just like myself," Livingston testified before members of the jury.

He said she started using their relationship as a method of control and said she would threaten rape if she didn't get her way.

"I never said you must do this in order to get something," Livingston said. "And nor would I. That's not who I am."

While on the stand, he removed his glasses and wiped away tears from his eyes.

"I never made her be with me," Livingston said.

He said he still loves her and doesn't believe he is guilty of sexual abuse.

"I particularly don't feel like I have done anything wrong," Livingston said.

Before sentencing Wednesday, Livingston remained in custody at the Cooke County Jail in lieu of $427,500 bail on charges of possession of child pornography, continuous sexual abuse of a child, injury to a child, sexual exploitation of a minor and assault on a public servant, according to jail records.

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(c)2018 the Gainesville Daily Register (Gainesville, Texas)

Visit the Gainesville Daily Register (Gainesville, Texas) at www.gainesvilleregister.com

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