Affidavit: Wells man who fondled female acquaintance also followed her, left threatening messages

Gilbert Rash (Source: Angelina County Jail)
Gilbert Rash (Source: Angelina County Jail)

ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A Zavalla Police officer arrested a 53-year-old Wells man who was out on bond on a sexual charge Wednesday for allegedly stalking the same woman that he is accused of assaulted on May 16, 2013.

Gilbert Dean Rash is still being held in the Angelina County Jail on a third-degree felony stalking charge and a bond surrender for the sexual assault charge. His bail was set at $15,000.

According to the arrest affidavit, an Angelina County Sheriff's Office investigator interviewed the victim, a woman who had a prior relationship with Rash, on June 7, 2013. The woman told the investigator that after she split up with Rash and moved out of his house, Rash has followed her to work and other places around Lufkin.

The victim provided the ACSO investigator with several recordings of harassing messages that Rash left on her phone, the affidavit stated. On May 5, Rash allegedly told her that she would talk to him no matter what the cost. That same day, he left another message that said he would follow her around the Lufkin loop and crash his vehicle in front of her, the affidavit stated.

The victim told the investigator that she thought the various threatening and harassing messages she allegedly got from Rash and the fact that he was following her around town were all measures done to incite fear, the affidavit stated.

On May 7, the woman left the Lufkin bowling alley. A short time later Rash sent her a voice message saying that he had seen her at the bowling alley with her new boyfriend, the affidavit stated.

The affidavit stated another stalking incident occurred on May 12. After the woman left work, Rash allegedly called her and described what she was wearing.

The alleged sexual assault occurred on May 16. When the woman left the Woodland Heights Medical Center after visiting a friend, she found Rash sitting in her car. She was on the phone with her daughter when she encountered Rash.

While the woman was struggling to get into a position to take control of her vehicle, Rash allegedly touched her bare neck and touched her inappropriately over her clothes. Eventually, the victim got away from Rash and drove to her residence in the Pollok area with Rash following her in his own vehicle, according to a previous East Texas News story.

The woman had the presence of mind to keep in phone contact with her daughter the whole time. When she realized that Rash was going to follow her all the way to her house, she told her daughter to call 911.

Trying to protect her daughter, the victim walked away from her residence, knowing "help was on the way."

"While walking in the roadway, Gilbert Rash was holding her tightly, and when other drivers would pass [he] would hold [the victim] tightly as if embracing her as to not alarm anyone," David Wells, an investigator with the Angelina County Sheriff's Office, said in the affidavit.

Still holding the victim tight, Rash allegedly put his hands under the victim's clothes and touched her inappropriately without the woman's permission.

The affidavit stated Rash only stopped his sexual assault when the victim's daughter and the owner of their home arrived on the scene. The homeowner told Rash to leave the property, and he did.

Rash was arrested for the second-degree felony sexual assault charge on May 17, 2013. He posted a $15,000 bail and was released from the Angelina County Jail on May 23, 2013.

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