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LIBERTY, Texas A Texas judge has issued a sweeping gag order barring anyone who could be called to testify at the trial of 18 men and boys accused of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl from talking to the news media.

Liberty County District Judge Mark Morefield granted the prosecution s request for the gag order during a Tuesday hearing. The order bars the defendants, attorneys and investigators from disseminating information about the upcoming trial.

It also bars all potential witnesses from discussing the case, including parents, siblings, relatives, and foster parents of the parties involved.

Houston Chronicle attorney Joe Larsen objected to the inclusion of unnamed potential witnesses. He argues that the order is too broad and effectively gags the public from discussing the case.

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