Alleged victim of Angelina Co. jailer: 'He treated us like pieces of meat'

Stevon Crowder (Source: Nacogdoches County Jail)
Stevon Crowder (Source: Nacogdoches County Jail)
Julia Goodwin
Julia Goodwin

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Editor's note: This story contains graphic sexual language.

Arrest affidavits for the former Angelina Countyjailer who was arrested for abusing his authority reveal that he allegedly madeinappropriate comments to eight female trustees who worked for him in the jailkitchen. In addition, Stevon Eugene Crowder reportedly touched some of theinmates in a sexually aggressive manner.

One of the inmates that made the allegations ofsexual harassment against Crowder described him as a "pervert," according toone of the arrest affidavits.

For his own safety, Crowder, 53, of Lufkin, is beingheld in the Nacogdoches County Jail on five state-jail felony charges ofviolating the civil rights of a person in custody and eight Class A misdemeanorcharges of official oppression. Collectively, his bail has been set at $24,500.

Following an investigation by the Angelina CountySheriff's Office and the Texas Rangers, Crowder acted on his attorney's advice,and turned himself into authorities late Monday night. The investigationinvolved interviews with inmates in Angelina County and at Texas Department ofCriminal Justice prisons in Henderson, Coryell, and Burnett counties.

Crowder's alleged victims and one of their familymembers filed a complaint with the ACSO.

"We took that complaint and had our investigatorscheck on it," said Angelina County Sheriff Greg Sanches. "It was a validcomplaint, and in fact, it led to several other complaints."

Sanches said he takes any accusation against an ACSOemployee seriously and hopes his proactive approach will help the AngelinaSheriff's Office keep the public's trust.

"They want to see a sheriff that's going to behonest and straight forward and is not going to hide anything," Sanches said. "Thisis not anything to hide."

Julia Goodwin, a former Angelina County Jail inmate,said Crowder treated her and other female prisoners like "pieces of meat."

"I don't think we deserve that even though we wereincarcerated," Goodwin said.

According to one of the arrest affidavits, Crowderwas in charge of the jail kitchen and the jail inmates who were assigned towork there. He would wake them at their cell dorm and then return them to theircells when their shifts were over. The affidavits stated that the sexualharassment occurred between the hours of 1 and 5:30 or 6 p.m., the only part ofCrowder's typical 12-hour shift when he was alone with the kitchen trustees.

One of the inmates that reported Crowder'sinappropriate behavior said that his actions between March 28 and May 19 madeher feel very uncomfortable. The affidavit stated Crowder would touch her onthe waist and shoulders.

The female inmate told investigators that Crowderwould always position himself, so that the front of her body would face him,the affidavit stated. In addition, he would look down the woman's jail jumpsuit in an effort to see her breasts. She also said he would make sexualcomments to her and the other female prisoners under his supervision.

According to the affidavit, Crowder continued withhis inappropriate behavior after she told him to keep his hands to himself.

Later in the affidavit, the same female inmate saidthat Crowder would tell her and other women to bend at the waist to retrieveitems from the floor or lower shelves within the cooler and other areas of thekitchen, so that it "exposed the shape of their buttocks under their jailjumpsuits." She said that he would direct her into the cooler, where there areno surveillance cameras.

The inmate said when she went to get items from theupper shelves or the floor, "I could glance back and see him looking at mybutt." In another affidavit, the same inmate told investigators that on threeseparate occasions, Crowder followed her into the cooler and touched her on theclothing over her genitalia and had a "weird look" on his face when he did so.

On another occasion, Crowder allegedly came upbehind the female in a narrow passageway and rubbed her buttocks with the frontof his lower body, the affidavit stated. The woman also told investigators thatCrowder grabbed her breast in a sexual manner and said, 'You really got them,girl."

During another incident, Crowder asked the femaleinmate if she dated "black men." The jailer would also make certain facialexpressions that made her and the other female inmates assigned to the kitchenuncomfortable and talked to them about sexual things.

"[The inmate] stated Correctional Officer StevonCrowder had been talking to her about oral sex and his wife having an affairwith a 15-year-old school boy, and the fact he had vasectomy and could have sexwith anyone and not fear getting anyone pregnant," the affidavit stated. "Theseconversations were offensive and oppressive."

When Crowder went to the female inmates' dorm to getthem up for their shifts, he would allegedly stand at the clear glass windowand watch them get dressed, the affidavit stated. The female inmate in thefirst affidavit said no other jailers, including the female correctionalofficers, would do that.

According to the affidavit, Crowder's behaviorstarted getting more and more aggressive, so the female inmates started lookingout for each other. When Crowder would try to get one of them alone and out ofview of the other inmates, they would signal each other, so that anotherprisoner would try to go with the first one.

"Mr. Crowder was a big man, so we were not strongenough to take him on by ourselves, so if we banded together, we could havemore defense," Goodwin said.

The statements from the other female inmates matchedup with the first prisoner's testimony about Crowder's behavior.

Another female inmate (Goodwin) told authorities that Crowderonce told her, "You sure got some junk in that trunk." The affidavit where sheis quoted stated that he would also put his hands on her shoulders and call her"sister girl."

I'm a busty woman, and he called me 'junk in the trunk,' and that really hurt me," Goodwin said.

A third inmate said she also caught Crowder staringat her buttocks several times while they were in the kitchen cooler together,the affidavit stated. She also said that he would instruct her and the otherfemale trustees to bend over and then say things like, "Don't bend over likethat. It does something to me."

"[The third female inmate] stated that CorrectionalOfficer Stevon E. Crowder placed his hands on her so many times she lostcount," the affidavit stated.

The third inmate also said that there were two orthree times when Crowder would reach across her work station and rub the backof his hand all the way up her arm and on her breast, the affidavit stated. Inanother incident, Crowder allegedly stood in a door with his back to thedoorjamb and ordered the female inmate to pass through by him, causing herclothed breast to rub against his clothed chest.

Yet another female inmate said that Crowder told herhead been a pimp "back in the day" and how she would have been a good asset tohim. She said on one occasion, the jailer had been talking to her about oralsex when he called her into the kitchen office, where he was leaning back inthe chair with his legs spread, the affidavit stated.

"I knew what he was doing and that he wanted me togive him oral sex," the inmate said in the affidavit. "I just left the room,and he was looking at me creepy."

In another of the affidavits, the female inmate saidshe had been a victim of sexual assault earlier in her life. She describedCrowder's actions as "grooming."

"I hate to see people make bad choices, but when youmake bad choices, bad consequences occur because of it," Sanches said.

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