Former Principal Takes the Stand in TYC Abuse Trial

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - The former principal at a West Texas juvenile prison accused of sexually abusing inmates has taken the stand to defend himself against allegations by five of the young men.

John Paul Hernandez's testimony began Thursday afternoon. He has pleaded not guilty to 11 counts, including one sexual assault charge, stemming from an investigation into abuse allegations at West Texas State School in 2004 and 2005.

Hernandez's attorney has said the inmates made up the allegations so they would be released from the facility, which closed last summer.

Prosecutors called more than a dozen witnesses, including the five young men who say they were abused by Hernandez.

Ray Brookins, the facility's former assistant, was sentenced in April to 10 years in prison.