LIVINGSTON, TX (KTRE) - A Polk County jury has found a former peace officer who used police tactics to sexually assault two women over a period of years guilty.
Chief Deputy Byron Lyons with the Polk County Sheriff's Office said that Mark Shawn Hamilton, 52, of Goodrich, was found guilty Tuesday when he appeared for a jury trial in Judge Kaycee Jones' 411 Judicial District Court. Lyons said now that Hamilton has been found guilty, Jones will be deciding his sentence.
When Hamilton was arrested in September of 2015, he was originally charged with four counts of second-degree felony sexual assault and one count of endangering a child. Collectively, his bail amount was set at $1.15 million.
During the sentencing phase of the trial, one witness talked about her interactions with Hamilton when she lived on property he owned. She said she had some uncomfortable conversations with the former police office in which he shared with her the things he did to one of the victims.
"There was a chair involved. Her best friend was there. There was tying up. They didn't want it, but he gave it to them," the witness said.
In addition, the witness said that Hamilton would often come up to her and make inappropriate comments like, "Nice butt" or "Your boobs are nice." She said that these comments led to sexual conversations about one of Hamilton's victims.
Another witness said Hamilton tried to start up a relationship with her and asked her out on a date.
The woman said Hamilton continued to pursue her, ans she got worried when he called her and said, "I'm in your subdivision." She added that she never told him where she lived.
The witness said that Hamilton kept starting conversations about how he could please her sexually, and it made her uneasy. She also said he gave her several scenarios of getting away with things because of his position, adding that he had told her he had killed an inmate when he was a guard.
Hamilton told her he was well-liked and knew the ropes to get away with things, the woman said.
The witness said Hamilton told her he was never rejected and that he had to have sex every night. He also told her no one ever told him no, and he asked her if she was jealous, the woman said.
The next witness is a niece of one of the women Hamilton was involved with. She said she, too, had a sexual relationship with Hamilton.
The woman was not a willing witness. She said she and Hamilton had a "give and take" relationship.
She understood she would be the submissive one in the relationship. She had a baby with her in court and said from what she believes, it's Hamilton's baby.
She said he was the sweetest thing ever though he had told her to give him oral sex before and also dropped her off with no money while he was upset.
Another woman took the stand who had rented property from Hamilton later. She also said he made inappropriate advances at her.
Later in the sentencing phase of the trial, yet another woman came forward. She said she and Hamilton moved from Texas City to Goodrich because he was always in trouble for making obscene calls to women.
The witness said she let her niece live with them. One day, she caught Hamilton outside watching her then-16-year-old niece shower.
"I jumped on his back and beat the living crap out of him just as any mother or aunt would," she said.
The witness said she encountered him on the highway, and he rammed her in attempts to run her into the Trinity River.
She said her niece later said Hamilton had brutally raped her and tied her up.
She encouraged her niece to tell authorities.
The defense attorney asked why she wouldn't help her own niece out.
"I'm not on trial here he is," the witness said. "I told her to go to police so she could get help!"
The next woman to take the stand was the niece of the previous witness. She said things started to change when she became more womanly.
She said she had an uncomfortable experience with Hamilton when she had a leg injury. He came in to massage her but moved toward her genitals.
She said he came in one day and sat next to her on the bed. He got closer, adding that she was 16 at the time. He told her no one would believe her because she was the poor little girl that they took in.
It wasn't until this year that she came forward with details on the alleged assault.
According to arrest affidavits KTRE obtained through an open records request, two women came to the Polk County Sheriff's Office on Sept. 8 and 9 of 2015 and alleged Hamilton sexually assaulted them separately on a consistent basis beginning in 2005.
Both women explained how Hamilton would restrain the women with belts and neck ties and would use "common police tactics" and his gun to subdue and control the women.
Both women also said Hamilton threatened them with physical harm and described how nobody would believe them if they made an outcry because he was a police officer.
According to an affidavit, one of the women was able to provide video proof of Hamilton beating her with a boot, while she held her one-year-old child. This was how Hamilton was charged with endangering a child.
Before he started working for the Sweeney ISD Police Department, Hamilton also worked for the Polk County Sheriff's Office in the late 1980s, the Patton Village Police Department, the Cleveland Police Department, the Texas Southern University Police Department, the Corrigan Police Department, the Onalaska Police Department, and the Trinity County Sheriff Office.