Judge declares mistrial in case of New Mexico man accused of trafficking daughter

A New Mexico district court judge on Thursday declared a mistrial in the case of a man accused of trafficking his now 8-year-old daughter, the Albuquerque Journal reported.

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Judge Cindy Leos declared the mistrial in the case of James Stewart, 38, who had been accused of promoting prostitution, human trafficking, child abuse and criminal sexual contact of a minor, KRQE reported.

Leos pointed to "prejudicial" testimony given Wednesday by the girl's grandmother, Guanda Kenney, regarding the family's connection to Cornelius Galloway, KOB reported. According to the Journal, Galloway is suspected of being involved in a sex trafficking organization.

The judge wrote that the prosecution “elicited testimony that was prohibited by the court” under rules of evidence and “specifically addressed” at an earlier hearing, the newspaper reported.

A new trial date has been set for April 1 and the girl is expected to testify a second time, KOB reported.

"It's something that I don't take lightly at all to put that little girl through that again," Leos said, according to KRQE.

The girl, who is not being identified, was 7 when the incidents are alleged to have taken place.

In a statement, Attorney General Hector Balderas said the “judicial system must allow this brave 8-year-old survivor a right to be heard and a right to seek justice.”

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