By Will Johnson
LUFKIN – Forty year old Harvey Martin Stewart, Jr., from Crockett, remains in the Angelina County Jail after he was arrested Friday afternoon on a charge of aggravated sexual assault of an elderly/disabled person.
The charge stemmed from an alleged incident which occurred in December of 2016 when Stewart worked at the Lufkin State Supported Living Center. The center is a 24-hour residential facility for mentally handicapped individuals with varying degrees of disabilities.
According to an arrest warrant, the Angelina County Sheriff’s Office was contacted on Dec. 29, 2016 about a “… sexual incident alleged to have occurred between two residents and an employee of the facility.”
The notification was made by another staff member of the facility after a female resident informed the staff member she was upset with her boyfriend, also a resident at the facility. According to the warrant, the female resident said she was upset because she and her boyfriend had recently engaged in sexual intercourse and he was now showing interest in another female resident at the facility.
“When (the staff member) heard her say she and (the male resident) had sexual intercourse, (the staff member) began pursuing this comment and asked (the female resident) about this. (The female resident) told (the staff member) that she and (the male resident) had sex in a ‘cubby hole’ on campus and that ‘Uncle Harvey’ was with them and even participated in the act,” the warrant stated.
The staff member filed a report on the matter and immediately contacted the Office of the Inspector General. The IG’s office sent an investigator to the Lufkin facility the next day. After the report was filed, the male and female residents were kept apart until the investigator could question both individuals.
The affidavit reported the female resident told the investigator that she and the male resident “… had walked to a ‘cubbie hole’ on campus where there were not a lot of people and they would not get caught. Accompanying them to the hole was (the male resident’s) supervising staff member, Harvey Stewart.”
The report stated Stewart informed the two residents he was going to give them a Christmas present by allowing the two residents to engage in sexual intercourse with each other. During the sexual act, the female resident alleged Stewart began to touch her genital area while she performed oral sex on Stewart.
Both the male and female residents were interviewed by the IG investigator and provided very similar recollections of the incident, the arrest report stated.
“Both individuals were taken to Harold’s House, the local Children’s Advocacy Center. They both reiterated the same account of events,” the affidavit furthered.
Stewart was interviewed by an Angelina County detective, along with the IG investigator, on Jan. 3, 2017. During the interview, Stewart “… denied having sexual intercourse with the residents, as well as denying taking them to have intercourse anywhere on campus. Stewart did consent to a buccal swab being taken for comparison to the evidence found at the facility,” the arrest affidavit indicated.
A buccal swab is a way to collect DNA from the cells on the inside of a person’s cheek.
On March 23, the arrest warrant stated Stewart called the Angelina County Sheriff’s Office to inquire about the DNA testing and commented he wanted to “… put this behind him.”
A second interview was conducted with Stewart on Aug. 24. During the course of the second interview, there were several inconsistencies in his story, when compared to the first interview, the affidavit revealed.
Stewart had originally stated he did not know the female resident but in the second interview, he stated he knew the female resident and she knew him by name. The arrest report went on to state Harvey also denied having entered the male resident’s room on Dec. 26, but video surveillance at the center showed Stewart had spent approximately 40 minutes in the male resident’s room, after the alleged incident had occurred.
Following the second interview with Stewart, additional forensic interviews were conducted at Harold’s House with both the male and female residents.
“The interviews were conducted at different times and the two residents did not travel together to the facility. (The female and male residents) independently gave the same account of events as they had in December of 2016 and they both named Harvey Stewart, again, to be involved in the sexual intercourse,” the affidavit reported.
As a result of the second set of interviews and the evidence collected at the scene, an arrest warrant was issued for Stewart, who turned himself in on Friday, Sept. 8. As of Tuesday, Sept. 12 Stewart is still held at the Angelina County Jail on a $50,000 bond.
Under Texas law, aggravated sexual assault is considered a first degree felony. According to Section 12.32 of the Texas Penal Code, “An individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the first degree shall be punished by imprisonment in the institutional division for life or for any term of not more than 99 years or less than five years. In addition to imprisonment, an individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the first degree may be punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000.”
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.