Saturday, October 15, 2011

Chambers DA says sheriff failed to act in child sex case against Sheriff's sergeant

Charges against sergeant comes nearly 2 years after initial complaint
Updated 12:18 a.m., Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Chambers County district attorney expressed "shock and dismay" on Friday that she was forced to ask a Texas Ranger to investigate a child's sexual assault complaint against a sheriff's sergeant after the sheriff failed to act when the accusations were first raised in 2009.

District Attorney Cheryl Lieck said the complaint sat in the Sheriff's Department without action for 1½ years until the victim's mother sought help from the DA's office, and she enlisted the assistance of a Texas Ranger.

On Thursday night, a Chambers County grand jury indicted Sgt. Gabriel Davila, who had been a supervisor at the county's jail for eight years. He was charged with six counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and six counts of indecency with a child. His bail was set at $60,000.

Neither Chambers County Sheriff Joe LaRive nor Davila could be reached for comment.

The name of the victim, an elementary school girl, was not released.

"I'm very disappointed when someone sworn to protect the citizens does not do their duty," Lieck said. "When somebody does not do their job, it makes us all look bad."

According to authorities, the assaults occurred in Davila's home in Chambers County.

The girl's mother, who lives in another county, initially filed a complaint with the Sheriff's Office in December 2009. After finding the sheriff to be unresponsive she sought help from the district attorney's office in June, Lieck said.

"I asked to see the sheriff's file and all that was in there was the original complaint from the mother. Nobody had even bothered to take a statement from the jailer who was working at the jail right by them," she said.

The Texas Ranger had his investigative findings reviewed by a grand jury which chose to indict Davila.

Davila continued working and was not suspended until the end of August when the ranger's investigation was nearing completion, Lieck said.

Children's Protective Services has also investigated the case and attempted to forward its findings to the sheriff to "no avail," Lieck said.

CPS closed its file because the child was no longer living in Chambers County and not believed to be in any further danger, she said.

Lieck said her focus in this case will be on seeing the young girl's case is heard by a jury.


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