FAYETTE COUNTY, Texas — Former Smithville Mayor Scott Saunders was arrested on June 24 in Fayette County on two charges of sexual assault, according to reports by the Austin American Statesman and Smithville Times.
Saunders, 35, is accused of sexually assaulting a woman in March 2012, according to a June 17 indictment handed down by a Fayette County grand jury. Both of these charges are second-degree felonies.
According to the Statesman, Fayette County Jail records show Saunders was arrested and released on June 24 after posting two $10,000 bonds.
In a statement posted by the City of Smithville, allegations of possible misconduct against Saunders began surfacing on Facebook at the beginning of the year.
"Due to the nature of the allegations and the fact that criminal offenses may have occurred, the information was immediately forwarded to the Texas Rangers for an investigation to eliminate any potential conflict of interest to the city and provide protection for everyone involved," said a Facebook statement attributed to Smithville's Mayor Joanna Morgan, City Manager Robert Tamble and Police Chief David Repka.
Saunders was previously arrested and booked into the Bastrop County Jail on May 10 on two counts of sexual assault of a child stemming from incidents that allegedly occurred in 2010 and one count of indecency with a child by sexual contact that allegedly happened in 2015, according to a joint statement by City of Smithville officials and Bastrop County court records.
According to the Statesman, a Bastrop County grand jury handed down indictments on those charges on May 4, and Saunders was arrested and released from the Bastrop County Jail on May 10. His bail on all three charges was set at $300,000, according to court documents.
Saunders resigned from his mayoral office on Jan. 11, just two months after winning reelection in an uncontested race.
The Statesman says Saunders’ arraignment hearing for his second-degree felony charges in Bastrop County has been set for Aug. 25.
The Texas Rangers are currently investigating this case and are asking anyone with any details on this case to contact a Ranger at 979-542-2800 or email email@example.com. Victims are also urged to speak with the Texas Ranger’s Victim Services Counselor Donna Fullilove at 512-997-4126 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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