LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - An Angelina County grand jury has indicted a Jasper Police Department officer who is accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl.
Billy Joe Murphy, 37, of Huntington, was among the 58 people that were indicted by the Angelina County grand jury. He was indicted on a felony sexual assault of a child charge.
Murphy was booked into the Angelina County Jail on Nov. 10, 2017, and he was released from the jail a day later after he posted a bail amount of $75,000.
Murphy is currently working for the Jasper Police Department. Lt. Gerald Foster, a spokesman for the Jasper Police Department, said Monday that Murphy, who is currently employed by the JPD, will be placed on administrative leave. Murphy is also a former Angelina County Sheriff's deputy.
Texas Ranger Brian Brazil conducted the investigation and wrote the probable cause affidavit, which stated that he was contacted by the alleged victim's parents on Nov. 7, 2017. The girl told her parents that Murphy had her lie down on a bed, and sexually assaulted her, the probable cause affidavit stated.
"The child victim stated she told Murphy to stop, and he told her he would hurt her parents if she told anyone about the sexual encounter," the affidavit stated.
In addition, the alleged victim told her parents that Murphy showed her nude photos of an 18-year-old woman she was acquainted with two days before the sexual assault occurred, the affidavit stated.
Later on Nov. 7, 2017, Brazil set up a forensic interview with the victim at the Child Advocacy Center (Harold's House) in Lufkin.
"The child victim's account of the alleged assault was consistent with the outcry she made to her parents," the affidavit stated. "The child victim gave more detail about her involvement with Murphy during the forensic interview. The child victim stated that Murphy had asked her to send digital nude photos of herself."
The alleged victim told the interviewer that she sent the photos as Murphy had requested.
Brazil said in the probable cause affidavit that he believes Murphy's request for the girl to send him nude photos "were used as a form of grooming and was further planned to be used as leverage against the child to exploit her sexually."
The Texas Ranger also said in the affidavit that he believes Murphy used the photographs as a tool to coerce the alleged victim into the situation that ultimately ended in the sexual assault.
Judge Bob Inselmann with the 217th signed the arrest warrant for Murphy on Nov. 10, 2017.
Texas Department of Public Safety troopers arrested Murphy and transported him to the Angelina County Jail.
Capt. Alton Lenderman with the Angelina County Sheriff's Office said Sunday that the ACSO is not involved in the investigation. Lenderman confirmed that Murphy worked as an ACSO deputy several years.
The Angelina County grand jury also indicted the following people.
- Angel Rose Lee, of Diboll, was indicted on four counts of sexual assault of a child. She was booked into the Angelina County Jail on Jan. 17 and released later that day after she posted a bail amount of $40,000.
- Toby Allan Widman Jr., 30, of Pollok, was indicted on one count of aggravated sexual assault of a child and five counts of indecency with a child in connection to allegations that he sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl numerous times in late 2016. Previous story: Affidavit: Pollok man sexually assaulted, molested 11-year-old girl multiple times
- Karoline Ann Jamison, 59, of Lufkin, was indicted for theft between $30,000 and $150,000. She is accused of embezzling almost $53,000 from B&B Cabinets and Trim while she was working there. Previous story: Affidavit embezzled almost $53K while working for a cabinet company
- Jessica Latonya Hurts, 34, of Lufkin, was indicted for aggravated robbery in connection with allegations that she went to a convenience store she had worked at and used a baseball bat to beat employees while she was trying to get the money she was owed. Previous story: Lufkin police: Ex store employee went on bat rampage in search of payment