Charged with Aggravated Sexual Assault and Indecency with a Child

By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

CROCKETT – A 33-year-old Crockett man faces charges of aggravated sexual assault as well as indecency with a child after a 7-year-old victim made an outcry to her mother.

Arester Joe Smallwood was taken into custody on Monday, July 2 and charged with a first degree and second degree felony for allegedly molesting both a 5-year-old female and a 7-year-old female.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, Crockett Police Department Sgt. Blake Gates was on patrol in the early afternoon of Wednesday, June 27 when he was dispatched “… to contact a complainant via public service about a possible sexual assault.”

Once Gates and the complainant made contact, the complainant informed the police sergeant she wanted “… to make a report about inappropriate touching of her two daughters.”

In the affidavit, the complainant stated when she arrived home from work on Sunday, June 24, her 7-year-old daughter – referred to as Jane Doe 1 or JD1 – “… had a secret to tell her and felt bad about keeping the secret.”

“(The complainant) stated that she told JD1 to tell her what was going on and at that time JD1 told her that her …, Arester Smallwood, had touched her inappropriately,” the report stated.

After hearing the allegations from her daughters, the complainant put the two children in her vehicle and then confronted Smallwood about his alleged actions.

“(The complainant) stated that she asked Smallwood why he had touched her two daughters like that and (the complainant) stated at that time Smallwood began to cry and to start apologizing,” the probable cause document stated.

The report stated the complainant kicked Smallwood out of the residence and then drove her daughters to a friend’s residence. The complainant indicated after she spoke to an aunt she decided to report the incident to law enforcement “… but waited until today (June 27) because the girls were so scared of retaliation from Smallwood.”

The affidavit indicated after the complainant had informed Gates of what happened, Gates recommended she take her daughters to Kalin’s Center for forensic interviews.

The appointments were set for the afternoon of June 27 and both JD1, as well as JD2, provided the forensic investigators with the same narrative they told their mom.

Following the forensic interviews, Gates and Lt. Clayton Smith spoke with the complainant in order to “… gather a better statement from her. (The complainant) went on to tell me the same story as earlier about the girls out crying to her about Smallwood touching them.”

A suggestion was made to the complainant to conduct a controlled phone call to Smallwood – on a recorded line – in the hopes Smallwood might provide more details about allegedly touching the two girls, the affidavit stated.

Once the phone call had been completed, CPD Detective Leea Price escorted the complainant and the two girls to Lufkin to have a SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners) exam conducted.

“After the SANE exam, I (Gates) was contacted and advised the SANE nurse did find evidence of digital penetration on both girls,” the affidavit stated.

Smallwood was apprehended on July 2 and booked into custody on charges of aggravated sexual assault (first degree felony) and indecency with a child by contact (second 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.”

A second degree felony carries a sentence of between two and 20 years in prison, along with a fine of up to $20,000.

Smallwood is being held at the Houston County Jail on bonds totaling $50,000.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.