ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Diboll Police officers arrested a 21-year-old woman Thursday for molesting a 5-year-old girl at the woman's residence in November 2013. Samatha Lovejoy was already serving one year of probation for animal cruelty.
Lovejoy is still being held in the Angelina County on a first-degree felony charge of sexual assault of a child. Her bail has been set at $75,000.
According to the arrest, the 5-year-old girl's mother contacted the Diboll Police Department on Jan. 12, 2014 and said Lovejoy and her boyfriend had touched her daughter inappropriately at a residence in Diboll on or about Nov. 1, 2013.
The 5-year-old was taken to Harold's House in Lufkin for a forensic interview. The little girl told the interviewer that Lovejoy's boyfriend pulled her pants down, and Lovejoy touched her inappropriately.
"Through a follow up investigation, we conducted a SANE exam, a polygraph, we determined that she was involved in touching the girl and so the warrant was obtained from the judge for her arrest," said Sgt. Norman Williams of the Diboll Police Department.
Lovejoy and her boyfriend had already been arrested on unrelated charges. A Diboll Police officer interviewed them about the accusations against them. Both suspects denied the allegations but agreed to take a polygraph test.
Lovejoy's co-defendant took a polygraph test in September 2013. After the polygraph exam, the boyfriend told the Diboll Police officer and a Texas Ranger that he witnessed Lovejoy molest the 5-year-old girl.
In January 2013, Lovejoy was arrested and charged with state-jail felony animal cruelty. She posted a bond of $3,500 and was released on Feb. 1.
According to an arrest affidavit obtained Tuesday morning, Donna Brown, the Diboll animal control officer, and a Diboll Police officer responded to a trailer located in the 900 block of Denman in reference to an animal cruelty call. The complainant told Brown that a black pit bull mix dog had knocked out a window screen and was hanging outside the trailer.
When she approached the trailer, Brown "could smell the odor of death and decay coming from the residence," according to Williams. Cries of other animals could be heard coming from the home.
Brown entered the trailer and found a dead pet rat in its tank with no food or water. In addition, she found two dead black pit mix dogs in a bedroom. According to the affidavit, it looked like the dogs had starved to death. Diboll PD detectives said the dogs had been dead for weeks.
Another dog, a red pit bull mix, was lying on one of the dogs, and at first, Brown thought it was dead, too. When she checked its vital signs, she found that it was still alive. Animal control authorities wound up euthanizing the red pit bull because it was severely under weight and on the verge of dying.
"There was another one that had to be euthanized; they don't know how it was still alive," Williams said.
While searching the rest of the trailer, Brown found the dog that was the cause of the original call. She also found a red Doxie mix and two kittens.
"The black pit mix and the red Doxie mix both appeared to have a good weight and to be in fair health," the affidavit stated. "The kittens both appeared to be in the beginning stages of starvation."
Williams said interviews with neighbors helped authorities track down Lovejoy. Further investigation revealed that Oliver also resides at Lovejoy's Diboll home. Oliver, who is listed as a defendant in the arrest affidavit, has prior arrests in Angelina County.
Lovejoy pleaded guilty to animal cruelty and neglect in on October 2, 2013. As part of her plea deal, she was sentenced to one year of probation and 40 days of community service.