Editor’s note: We’ve updated this story to reflect input we received from the Center Police Department about its involvement in this case. The search warrant was not served on the Center Police Department as stated recently.
CENTER, TX (KTRE) - On Wednesday, Texas Rangers served a search warrant for evidence in connection to an allegation that a trusty gave an underage girl methamphetamine at the Shelby County Jail shop and then sexually assaulted her.
LaDerrick McCollister, the suspect, is still being held in the Shelby County Jail on a bench warrant.
“A search warrant was issued and then executed on two digital devices that were recovered during CPD’s initial investigation,” Center Police Chief Jim Albers said in an e-mail. “The issuance of this search warrant was necessary for law enforcement officers to lawfully extract evidentiary data from these devices.”
Albers added that the Center Police Department has been working with the Texas Rangers Office for the entirety of the investigation, which was at the request of the Center Police Department.
“No CPD personnel are being investigated,” Albers said.
According to the affidavit for the search warrant, the two electronic devices were to be sent to the Lufkin Police Department Computer Forensics Laboratory to be searched for evidence.
Texas Ranger Steven Rayburn spoke to the Center Police Department detective who interviewed the victim on Dec. 10, the affidavit stated. The alleged victim told police that earlier that day, she had been given a ride to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office to meet McCollister, 37.
The 16-year-old girl told the Center PD detective that she learned McCollister is a jail trusty, the affidavit stated. She also allegedly told the detective that they had not met in person before that and that they had been communicating via Facebook Messenger.
The alleged victim said once they were alone in the jail’s “shop,” that she ingested meth that McCollister gave her and performed a sex act on him, the affidavit stated. While she was doing it, McCollister allegedly filmed it with a cell phone. According to the affidavit, the victim told police that McCollister had at least two cell phones.
McCollister told the Center PD detective that she had access to both phones, and she tried to send a copy of the video to herself via Wi-Fi, the affidavit stated. Because she feared that she had overdosed on meth, the girl allegedly used McCollister’s other phone to call 911.
After the alleged victim gave her consent for the Center PD detective to search her tablet, he located a video recording consistent with the girl’s claim, the affidavit stated. The CPD detective seized a black smartphone and a tablet from the girl, and he told her that because of her age, the video recording was considered child pornography.
Later, Rayburn spoke to Texas Ranger James Hicks, who had interviewed McCollister at the jail.
McCollister allegedly admitted to Hicks that he had sex with the victim on Dec. 18 and said he thought the girl was 18 years old. According to the affidavit, McCollister also told Hicks that he thought the sex was consensual.
According to the affidavit, McCollister also said that he recorded the video on the same phone that the victim used to call 911. He allegedly denied having a second phone and having possession of and/or using meth.
Rayburn said in the affidavit that McCollister has a lengthy criminal history. He has previously been convicted of assault causing bodily injury, possession of marijuana, manufacture or delivery of a simulated controlled substance, failure to identify, and federal offenses that include escape from federal custody.
In the affidavit, Rayburn said the information presented will show that McCollister committed the offenses of sexual assault of a child, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of child pornography. Other possible charges listed in the affidavit include child sex trafficking, sexual performance of a child, and sexual performance of a child.
The search warrant called for the seizure of the black cell phone and the tablet that were taken as evidence in the case. It also called for the seizure of “customer lists, names of suppliers, listings of individuals who owe money for controlled substances or contraband already delivered” and evidence that includes electronic and digital data, SMS and MMS messages, a list of incoming and outgoing telephone calls to and from potential co-conspirators or victims, any video recordings of McCollister engaging in sex acts with children, digital images of child pornography, and any digital correspondence between McCollister and the 16-year-old victim.