BASTROP, TX- A former Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission agent found guilty several sexual assault charges involving a child was sentenced today.
Joe Chavez, 42, received the maximum 20 years in prison for felony sexual assault of a minor, plus a $10,000 fine. The jury also sentenced Chavez to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine for felony online solicitation of a minor, plus one year in county jail and a $4,000 fine on a charge of official oppression, a Class A misdemeanor. The trial judge will determine on August 24 whether Chavez will serve the felony sentences concurrently or consecutively.
Chavez pled guilty to all three charges when his trial began last week. The jury returned a not guilty verdict on a second felony sexual assault of a child charge.
The charges stemmed from Chavez’s work as a state police officer with the TABC, where he investigated licensed alcohol retailers that were believed to be selling alcoholic beverages to minors.
According to state prosecutors, Chavez sexually assaulted a 16-year-old female after she assisted him with an undercover sting operation in 2009. That assault led to Chavez’s guilty pleas for both second-degree felony sexual assault and official oppression. Before the evening of the assault, the defendant subsequently sent the minor victim a text message containing a sexually explicit image of himself, which prompted his guilty plea on the online solicitation of a minor charge.