AUSTIN, Texas — An Austin Water employee was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting and robbing a woman while on duty on Friday.
According to a police affidavit, 31-year-old Corie Darian Cornist, a City of Austin employee, approached a woman near Interstate 35 and Ben White Boulevard in his Austin Water truck and asked her if she needed a ride.
After she entered the truck, he allegedly asked the woman to perform sexual acts for money and began to rape her when she refused.
The affidavit said the victim was eventually able to push Cornist off her and escape out the side of the truck. Cornist then allegedly got out of the truck, pushed the victim and took her phone.
As the victim reached inside the open passenger-side window for her phone, Cornist rolled up the window on her hands and proceeded to drive off, dragging the victim, according to the documents. Police said the victim eventually broke free and was run over by the truck.
Officers later responded to the sidewalk on Cedargrove Drive in southeast Austin and found the victim bleeding from a bad leg and hip injury. She was taken to the hospital.
While a responding officer was on the scene gathering evidence, Cornist approached and identified himself as a City of Austin employee. Cornist claimed he picked up the victim off Pleasant Valley Road and dropped her off at the park after she “began acting strangely.” He told the officer he knew the victim was being dragged by the truck but did not stop.
The affidavit said Cornist drove the Austin Water truck to the holding facility off Webberville Road where he got in his personal vehicle and drove back to the scene. The GPS on his City of Austin truck reportedly showed he was in the area of the sexual assault when it occurred. Police said he drove back to the Webberville station right after the incident but never clocked out of work and left without notifying his supervisor.
Cornist was arrested and charged with sexual assault, a second-degree felony, and robbery by assault, a second-degree felony. He was booked into the Travis County Jail on a $150,000 bond.
Austin Water released the following statement on Monday:
“Austin Water is aware of the criminal investigation regarding Corie D. Cornist, who was taken into police custody on Friday. Mr. Cornist was placed on leave immediately. As a fair chance employer, the City will take the appropriate steps pending the outcome of the investigation.”
Cornist has worked for Austin Water for nearly nine years.
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