Law Offices of Tim Powers, Denton, Texas
When you think of firefighters, you think of bravery and courage. You normally have such high respect for the men and women who risk their lives for our safety. But then you hear of incidents such as the one I'm about to talk to you about, and you feel somewhat embarrassed that this would happen.
Recently in Ellis County, five volunteer firefighters were accused of sexually harassing another volunteer firefighter. Reports show that the men are accused of holding down the victim, pulling down his pants, and assaulting the victim with a broomstick and a chorizo sausage. The video of the hazing showed the firemen laughing and yelling as they did this. Reports also showed that the victim felt disgusted and ran to throw up. Later, while he was taking a shower, the other five men stole his clothes and towel, forcing the other firefighter to go outside naked to get shorts from his car.
This incident did not stop there. Apparently, the incident was reported to the chief and the assistant chief; however, the incident was dismissed. They told the men to "keep their mouths shut," and were told to delete the video. The fire chief and assistant chief chose not to report the incident to law enforcement.
Now the chief and assistant chief face charges for tampering with a witness (a felony) and possibly tampering with evidence. Both which are considered third-degree felonies with jail time no less than two years and no more than 10 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice with a fine not to exceed $10,000.
If found guilty of aggravated sexual assault (first-degree felony), the firefighters participating in the hazing incident could face five years to life in prison with a fine not to exceed $10,000. If found guilty of improper photography or visual recording (a felony), the girlfriend of one of the volunteer firefighters (who was recording the incident), could be sentenced six months to two years in state jail.
Harassment and sexual assault are both taken really seriously here in Texas. As of right now, Ellis County has appointed a new intern chief volunteer firefighter. Stay tuned to see the verdicts for the former volunteer firefighters, and let us know what you have to say!
If you are seeking aggressive criminal representation by an experienced criminal defense attorney for your Denton County criminal case or arrest in Denton County, contact the offices of Tim Powers today. There is no charge or obligation for the initial consultation. 940.483.8000
*Tim Powers is an attorney licensed to practice law by the Supreme Court of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice. For legal advice about any specific legal question you should directly consult an attorney. Criminal Defense Lawyers with Unparalleled Passion for Success Providing Quality Representation for your Denton, Lewisville, Flower Mound, Carrollton, Corinth, Highland Village Dallas, Plano, McKinney, Denton County, Tarrant County, Collin County, or Dallas County criminal case