BAY MINETTE, Ala. (WALA) - An uncle of missing woman Brittney Wood appeared before a Baldwin County judge on Thursday morning.
Wood vanished back in May. Since then, many of her family members have been arrested on unrelated sex abuse charges.
On Thursday, Wood's uncle Dustin Kent had a preliminary hearing for his charges of alleged sex abuse against two young girls.
Investigators shared graphic testimony of child sex abuse allegedly committed by the 36-year-old Kent.
Prosecutors said between 2005 and 2011, Kent forced two girls around the age of 12 to have sex with him.
He now faces five charges.
He faces charges of second degree sodomy, and second degree rape against one victim, and charges of rape, sodomy and incest against another victim.
Baldwin County Assistant DA Teresa Heinz said, "A lot of times, that's what we see in child victim cases. They're family-related. That's who has access to children, the family members."
Donald Holland was Brittney Wood's uncle. He was the last person to see Wood alive, and he later committed suicide.
Investigators said Holland told Kent to commit the sex crimes, and in each case, Holland was either present or listening on the phone.
Kent's defense attorney John Beck said, "Mr. Kent absolutely denies these allegations."
Beck is anxious to take this case to trial. He said, "There are a lot of facets to this investigation that need to be completed. This case hasn't even gone to a grand jury yet, and we don't know what the grand jury will find. There certainly is another side to this story."
A prosecutor said Kent is just one of a number of relatives arrested for sex abuse crimes.
"This is just the tip of the iceberg," said Heinz. "We have a total of five or six charged suspects. It's an ongoing investigation. It's been ongoing since January 2012, and it will continue on until we've exhausted all our leads."
These cases are still under investigation.
Officials said the two victims in Kent's case are seeking counseling.
Authorities have said these sex crimes are not connected to the disappearance of Wood.
Kent's case has been bound over to a grand jury.
One of Kent's alleged crimes happened in Mobile County, and that is a separate case.
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