PRINCETON — New trial dates were set Tuesday for a man and woman facing charges including first-degree sexual assault and child neglect in the case of juvenile who was allegedly forced to eat dog feces and drink urine.

Dakota Scott Dillow, 23, and Kristy Asbury, 32, both of Rock, appeared before Circuit Court Judge Derek Swope for a status hearing. Their hearings were conducted at the same time because they are codefendants.

An investigation started in June 2019 when Trooper J.B. Fox of the West Virginia State Police Jesse detachment was contacted by the Wyoming County Department of Health and Human Resources about a child neglect case involving Dillow. Dillow is currently facing charges of first-degree sexual assault and malicious wounding. 

The juvenile, who was interviewed by Just For Kids in Wyoming County, told investigators that Dillow had forced him to eat dog feces while living in Princeton and in another case drink urine in Tazewell, Va. while he was with Dillow and Asbury, Fox stated. In the interview, the juvenile said Asbury was not at home when the dog feces incident occurred. 

The juvenile did state during the interviews that Dillow had sexually assaulted him on more than one occasion, according to Fox’s report. 

Asbury is facing a charge of child neglect creating risk of serous bodily injury. In February during a preliminary hearing in Mercer County Magistrate Court, Prosecuting Attorney George Sitler argued that Asbury committed negligence by leaving the juvenile alone with Dillow, who he described as “a violent abuser” who had repeatedly abused her. 

Both Dillow and Asbury are currently free on bond. 

Dillow’s trial had been set for May 26, but the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia has decided that jury trials cannot be conducted until after June 28. The trials for Dillow and Asbury were set for July. 

Attorney William Huffman, who is representing Asbury, said that his client is currently on home confinement while Dillow is not under that requirement. Swope said he would take up that matter at another hearing Thursday.

Attorney John Byrd represented Dillow. The state was represented by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Adam Wolfe.

Sanitizing tables and chairs after each hearing is being done in the circuit court, and all court officials and members of the public are required to wear masks. Judge Swope sometimes left the bench to help clean the courtroom before taking up another case. Signs and yellow crime scene tape were used to mark routes attorneys and the public can take when they enter and exit the courtroom, and both court officials and the public are required to sit 6 feet apart when court is in session.

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

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