Defendant flees to China during trial

March 3, 2011 7:23:26 AM PST
A Chinese national on trial for aggravated sex assault of a child was a no-show in court on Wednesday. He was nowhere to be found, even as jurors tried to decide his fate. This is certainly not something the Harris County District Attorney's Office wanted to be dealing with right now. We understand that Chinese national Jihua Wang, known as Jeff, who is charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, is on a plane on his way to China.

Wang's case has been going on since 2007. He's proclaimed his innocence, saying he's not guilty of the charges against him.

The jury has had the case for the past couple of days, and just Tuesday they were deadlocked. In fact, on Wednesday they returned a decision of a hung jury and the judge even declared a mistrial.

Despite all of that, Wang is gone. We have on good authority that he left early Wednesday morning and got on a flight to China. There's not much the Harris County District Attorney's Office can do, other than declaring Wang a wanted fugitive.

The DA's office told us that on Tuesday they tried to get Wang's passport pulled because Wang had a Chinese passport and was here on a US visa. However, Wang's defense attorneys dispute that, saying at no time in court did prosecutors ever try to have that passport pulled. Apparently that passport was put to use Wednesday morning.