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Home » Sexual Assault » Volunteer Firefighters Commit Sexual Assault In Hazing Ritual

Volunteer Firefighters Commit Sexual Assault In Hazing Ritual

texas-volunteer-firefighters-sexual-assaultFirefighters are usually held in high esteem; each day they risk their lives and put others first in a profession that is as dangerous as it is necessary to society. Children look up to them. They’re generally thought of as wholesome, family-oriented folk. So when five volunteer firefighters were arrested for sexual assault in a hazing-related incident in Ellis County, Texas, it was quite the shock to their community (and nearby Waxahachie). The behavior these firefighters (and as such supposed bastions of the community) displayed is criminal, and the seeming joy with which they carried out the act renders the whole scene all the more chilling.

How Did This Happen?

Apparently the five sexually assaulted a new recruit using a broomstick and chorizo sausage, while others looked on. Police have stated that one Brittany Parten has been charged with documenting the awful scene with her cell phone camera. The video obtained by police apparently shows the recruit being sexually assaulted at a party-like function being held inside of the firehouse while others cheer the assaulters on.

Statements from local authorities express mostly surprise and disbelief. Richard Rozier, president of a board overseeing the local fire department until recently, said that he knew a few of the firefighters who were arrested. He stated, “There was never any kind of indication that any of this kind of thing had happened or was happening… I think if we’d have known something like that going on […] action would have been taken to stop it, and even deal with those who may have participated in it.” One can’t help but be disappointed with the mild tone of this statement (“and even deal with…” as if doing so would constitute going above and beyond in one’s station rather than the bare minimum of duty).

Has This Happened Before?

Residents of the community expressed the opinion that this was an isolated incident. The way volunteer fire department are set up and administered in the area makes this theory plausible. A statement from Ellis County Judge Carol Bush seems to back this up as well. It reads as follows:

Ellis County does not maintain its own fire department. Fire protection across the county is provided for by both municipal fire departments and by volunteer fire departments. Pursuant to the Texas Health and Safety Code, the volunteer fire departments are managed by Emergency Services Districts, which are independent political subdivisions with taxing authority, governed by their own boards of directors. The authority of Ellis county is limited to appointing those directors and filling vacancies. The county has no legal authority over the operations of either the ESDs or the volunteer fire departments.

It seems clear that administration, at least at the county level, will not or cannot be held responsible for the crimes of these firefighters.

What’s The Crime?

But what will the firefighters be charged with? Well, if they were in Tennessee, they would probably be charged with at least Sexual Battery (a felony) — because the act was filmed, and because so many people were involved, they will probably also be charged with a litany of other offenses including criminal conspiracy if the act was premeditated). Since the assault was sexual, though, the big charge they will face is Sexual Battery. If convicted, they would have to register as sex offenders. Their crimes also carry a serious prison sentence and, depending on the severity of their crimes (which is based on how much harm was caused to the victim, among other things) the accused are looking at an upwards of thirty (30) years in prison, as well as a hefty fine.

Hire Nashville Sexual Abuse Lawyers

Sexual Battery (often referred to colloquially as “sexual assault”) is a serious charge. If you or a loved one finds themselves charged with Sexual Battery, it is imperative that legal counsel be sought as soon as possible. Every second wasted is a second subtracted from the time your legal team could be constructing a more solid defense. If you are in the Nashville, Murfreesboro, or Middle Tennessee Area, contact Turner Law Offices, P.C. for the competent and experienced legal representation you deserve. We will ensure that your rights are protected to the fullest extent of the law, and with over twenty years of experience working in Tennessee law, we can provide you with big-firm quality while retaining the comfortable and personable small-firm feel. Call us today or register online for a free initial consultation.

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