Texan Found Guilty of Child Sex Crimes Drinks Liquid in Court, Dies: ‘He Chugged It’

edward leclair
Frisco Police Department

A 57-year-old man on trial for child sexual assault in Texas drank an unknown liquid in the courtroom and died later that day, WFAA reported Friday.

Edward Peter Leclair of Frisco was facing several counts of assault regarding a single victim, offenses that occurred over a two-month period in 2016, Denton County jail records showed, per the outlet.

He was arrested in 2018, and jury selection began Monday at the Denton County Courts Building.

According to First Assistant Attorney Jamie Beck of the Denton County District Attorney’s Office, the jury entered, sat down, and the defendant and his counsel stood up.

Moments later, Judge Lee Gabriel began reading the verdict which said Leclair was guilty on all counts.

“It’s during this process that he had a bottle of water with him at the counsel table, and he chugged it,” Beck recalled, adding, “It wasn’t like he was just taking sips of water. He was literally throwing it back, so to speak.”

The man reportedly had not previously taken a drink from the bottle.

Leclair was taken to a holding cell, and an investigator later told a bailiff to check on the man due to the incident.

He appeared to look “gray,” Beck said, but he was alive. Leclair was taken to a hospital, and died there.

The Texas Rangers are investigating the case, Fox 4 reported, and Beck noted the water bottle was taken as evidence.

In its description of child sexual abuse, the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) says, “A child cannot consent to any form of sexual activity, period.”

“When a perpetrator engages with a child this way, they are committing a crime that can have lasting effects on the victim for years,” the organization’s website states.

Research has found that “About 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 13 boys in the United States experience child sexual abuse,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.