Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Court Rules in favor of DPS officer fired after sexual assault allegation

"One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established."
Deuteronomy 19:15

Seventeen months ago, officer John Jones the head of the Department of Public Safety’s “Intelligence and Counterterrorism” division was fired following a sexual assault allegation. The Texas Tribune wrote a salacious and sensationalistic report at the time.

Last week, however, a Travis County senior criminal judge declined to issue a protective against Officer Jones. This is noteworthy because protective orders require the lowest possible evidentiary standard: “Any reasonable basis.” As a point of comparison, the on-campus sexual assault tribunals that attracted controversy during the Obama administration required a “preponderance of evidence” standard.

In other words, the proceeding in question required a lower standard of evidence than that required on college campuses.

Yet, the Travis county DA was unable to meet that low standard.

In court documents and video obtained by Cahnman’s Musings, District Judge Jon Wisser denies the request for the protective order and rebukes the district attorney. Wisser says he “certainly would not find someone guilty beyond a reasonable doubt based on this evidence.” Wisser then goes on to list a series of other legal evidentiary standards the prosecution's case fails to meet.

Most troubling, Judge Wisser rebukes the DA for having failed to take the case to a grand jury.

The Texas Tribune has failed to report on these developments by the time of publication.

The case against Officer Jones will continue its march through the courts.

Bottom Line: These cases are always difficult, but failure to reach even this low standard of evidence does raise any number of questions....

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