Ken Paxton

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bastrop County Grand Jury Returns Felony Indictments Against Former TABC Officer

BASTROP A Bastrop County grand jury returned multiple indictments Tuesday against former Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission officer Joe Chavez, 41. Investigators with the Office of the Attorney General arrested Chavez on Friday.

The grand jury indicted Chavez on two counts of sexual assault of a child and on one count each of online solicitation of a minor, abuse of official capacity and official oppression.Chavez was a TABC agent stationed in Bastrop County and was authorized to conduct undercover investigations of licensed establishments that sell alcohol specifically those that were believed to be engaging in the practice of selling alcohol to minors. A 16-year-old female who assisted Chavez in a sting operation reported that Chavez sexually assaulted her while he was on duty. Investigators allege that the sexual assault took place in Chavez’s state-issued vehicle immediately after the sting operation and that the defendant also texted a sexually explicit photograph of himself to the teenage girl the day before the sting operation.

Sexual assault of a child is a second-degree felony punishable by up to a $10,000 fine and two to 20 years in prison for each count. Online solicitation of a minor and abuse of official capacity are third-degree felonies punishable by up to a $10,000 fine and two to 10 years in prison. Official oppression is a Class A misdemeanor.

The Office of the Attorney General is prosecuting the case on behalf of the Bastrop County District Attorney’s Office.