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Outcry Leads to Sexual Assault Arrest

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By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

CROCKETT – A Crockett man was arrested on Tuesday, July 2 on charges of indecency with a child by contact after an outcry was made by an underage relative.

After avoiding arrest for over four months, Robert Venable, 62, was booked into custody last week for his actions in early February of this year.

In an affidavit of probable cause, it was stated Crockett Police Detective Aleea Price was advised of an alleged sexual assault which occurred in Crockett during February.

The victim resides outside of Houston County, the affidavit reported, and after informing an adult of Venable’s alleged actions, contact was made with a children’s advocacy center.

During a forensic interview, the probable cause document stated when the victim was asked why she was at the center, the victim replied, that her relative had been touching her inappropriately.

After she explained what happened to the forensic interviewer, the legal document stated the victim “… was thinking that she needed to tell someone about this before it happened to anyone else.”

The victim also indicated there was another instance of sexual assault when Venable forced her to touch his genital area.

On Feb. 28, the affidavit indicated Det. Price contacted the victim’s mother in an effort to locate Venable.

“She (the victim’s mother) was unsure of where Robert Venable might be staying,” the report stated.

The mother also indicated when she “… texted Robert about the situation, he texted back and claimed he was drunk, as if this was his reasoning for sexually assaulting her.”

Venable was apprehended on July 2 and charged with indecency with a child by contact, a second degree felony.

According to Section 12.33 of the Texas Penal Code, “An individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the second degree shall be punished by imprisonment in the institutional division for any term of not more than 20 years or less than two years. In addition to imprisonment, an individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the second degree may be punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000.”

Bond was set at $30,000, which was posted, and Venable was released pending further legal proceedings.

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