Old accusation comes to light for Grapeland councilman

Chief John Smith
Chief John Smith
Aaron Pennington mug shot courtesy of Houston County Jail.
Aaron Pennington mug shot courtesy of Houston County Jail.

GRAPELAND, TX (KTRE) - The spotlight on Grapeland city councilman Aaron Pennington is far from fading.

It's not just because his family name is plastered across the city.

Last week, Pennington was arrested on child porn charges.

Grapeland's new police chief, John Smith, launched the investigation.

"We had a complaint from a citizen," Smith said. "I saw it was going to far outdo the resources we have as cyber crimes go and that's when I contacted the Attorney General's Office."

If that wasn't enough fuel for town fodder, another allegation in Pennington's past has resurfaced: a 2002 child sex assault case.

"I don't think he was arrested on that case," Smith said.

It involved a 14-year-old boy passing through Grapeland with his dad.

Court documents allege the boy was approached at one of the Pennington family watermelon sheds.

During an interview, the alleged victim reported that on June 26, 2002, Pennington asked how much money it would take for the boy to allow him to perform a sexual act on him.

Case reports show the exchange was made and that Pennington took pictures of the teenager.

That evidence went before a Houston County grand jury the same year who did not indict Pennington.

Insufficient evidence was cited.

Since getting out on bond, Pennington has worked at his family's feed and seed store. KTRE approached him for an interview, but he refused to comment on any of the cases he's involved with.

He is holding on to his city council seat to the dismay of some.

"I think they should have him step down and finish the process," one longtime Grapeland resident said. "If he's found not guilty and everything's fine, then reinstate him."

For now the current case is set to go before a grand jury.

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