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Delivery driver charged with the murder of a 7-year-old in Texas faces 3 unrelated sexual assault charges dating back to 2013

<i>Shafkat Anowar/The Dallas Morning News/AP</i><br/>A makeshift memorial for Athena Strand is seen in Paradise
Shafkat Anowar/The Dallas Morning News/AP
A makeshift memorial for Athena Strand is seen in Paradise

By Rebekah Riess and Emma Tucker, CNN

The new sexual assault charges filed against the delivery driver suspected of kidnapping and killing 7-year-old Athena Strand in Texas earlier this month date back to three separate incidents in 2013, charging documents show.

An investigation by the Fort Worth Police Department determined Tanner Lynn Horner allegedly sexually assaulted children under the age of 17 on three separate occasions in June, August, and December of 2013, according to charging documents filed Wednesday.

The minor victims were not identified. The charges came out of Tarrant County, records show.

Horner was arrested earlier this month on capital murder and aggravated kidnapping charges after authorities say he told them he accidentally hit Athena with his vehicle while making a delivery to her home on November 30. Horner allegedly told investigators he put the girl in his van and strangled her because he was scared she would tell someone she was hit by a FedEx truck, according to two arrest warrants obtained by CNN affiliate KTVT.

Horner, who was already being held on a $1.5 million bond in Wise County jail, now has additional $15,000 surety bonds set against him on each of the three sexual assault charges out of Tarrant County. His initial court appearance is set for January 5, 2023, Tarrant County court records show.

Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin told CNN the 2013 charges “happened back some time ago” and were separate from the Strand case. Some people have come forward in relation to the 2013 charges following Horner’s arrest, Akin said.

CNN was not able to determine if Horner has an attorney.

Strand’s family filed a lawsuit against FedEx and one of its subcontractors this month, accusing them of gross negligence and accusing Horner of assault. The family is seeking more than $1 million in damages from the companies and Horner, according to the suit.

Horner delivered packages for FedEx Ground but was employed through a subcontractor, Big Topspin, Inc., according to the lawsuit.

In response to the lawsuit, FedEx said in a statement, “Our thoughts remain with the family of Athena Strand in the wake of this tragedy. We are aware of the complaint filed against FedEx Ground.”

CNN has previously attempted to reach Big Topspin, Inc. for comment.

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CNN’s Andy Rose contributed to this report.

Article Topic Follows: cnn-national

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