HILLSBORO — Former Maypearl Police Chief Kevin Coffey is facing additional charges from Hill County related to the sexual assault of a minor. A Hill County Grand Jury indicted Coffey Nov. 8 on the charges of Indecency with a child after he allegedly exposed and performed sexual acts with or on a child.
Coffey has been in the Wayne McCollum Detention Center for almost two years after turning himself into the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office on July 22, 2015.
According to the indictments, Coffey, on Jan. 1, 2015, allegedly induced a child who was younger than 18 years old to engage in sexual conduct. At the time of the alleged incident, Coffey allegedly exposed his genitals to a child who was younger than 17-year-old. The indictment also states that Coffey knew character and content of the sexual conduct or performance.
Ellis County and District Attorney Patrick Wilson said these charges were two of the four originally filed in Ellis County.
“We just determined that the venue was proper in Hill County instead of Ellis County,” Wilson said. “That is where the victim was located at the time of those two charges.”
ELLIS COUNTY CHARGES
The remaining two charges Coffey was indicted on in Ellis County are for indecency with a child —sexual contact and sexual assault of a child. According to the Oct. 15, 2015 indictments, on Jan. 1, 2015, Coffey allegedly caused the penetration of sexual organ and engaged in sexual contact with a child younger than 17 years old. An arrest warrant was issued for Coffey on July 21, 2015. The warrant stated on July 17, 2015, the mother of a 14-year-old girl contacted Texas Ranger Adam Sweaney and informed him that her daughter “made an outcry she had an inappropriate relationship with Coffey.”
Wilson stated that he is confident that these two remaining charges took place in Ellis County.
TRIAL DATE RESET
Coffey’s trial in Ellis County was set to take place next week with jury selection to start on Monday, but it has since been rescheduled to be held in February.
“I believe that it is because additional forensic testing is being done on some of the evidence. In abundance of caution, the defense filed a motion to suppress certain things,” Wilson said. “While we were confident in the legality of it, we sort of took a belt and suspenders approach to it and had those reexamined.”
Coffey, through his court-appointed attorney, Jim Jenkins, filed an application for a writ of habeas corpus on Aug. 6, 2015, in the 443rd Judicial District Court. In the application, Jim Jenkins requested that Coffey’s bonds be reduced to $20,000 from $350,000. On Aug. 11, 2015, Judge Cindy Ermatinger denied Coffey’s motions leaving the bonds set at the original amounts.
On Aug. 24, Coffey rejected a plea bargain agreement from the Ellis County and District Attorney’s Office. According to the district clerk’s website, the plea agreement would have allowed Coffey to serve 35 years consecutively on the charges he faces in Ellis County in a Texas Department of Justice facility.
JOHNSON COUNTY CHARGES
The Wayne McCollum Detention Center’s website states that the charges Coffey faces from the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office include two charges of sexual assault of a child and a charge of indecency with a child by contact.
According to the Johnson County warrant from Aug. 1, 2015, the two charges are in connection with accusations made by a minor. These offenses allegedly took place April 12, 2001, when Coffey was serving with the Grandview Police Department.
According to information from Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, Coffey’s time with the Grandview Police Department was from Dec. 11, 2000 - Nov. 20, 2003.
COFFEY'S LAW ENFORCEMENT HISTORY
Coffey has served a total of 17 years and two months working as a law enforcement officer, according to TCOLE. Before Coffey’s service in law enforcement, he served in the United States Marine Corps.
Coffey has served in both Texas and North Carolina. Some of the departments Coffey has worked for include the Tolar Police Department, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, the Grandview Police Department, the Hudson Oaks Police Department, the Maypearl Police Department, the Italy Police Department and the Rio Vista Police Department.
According to a Daily Light article from June 26, 2007, Coffey once faced termination with the Italy Police Department and the city council upheld Coffey’s termination. Coffey’s attorney at the time, Lance Wyatt, presented the letter of termination from then-Police Chief John Parker, which indicated the officer’s employment was terminated because he “gave untrue answers that resulted in conduct unbecoming of an officer.”
Wyatt said his client had taken and passed a polygraph test from a firm used by the City of Italy. The examiner determined, according to Wyatt, that no deception was indicated in Coffey’s answers.
Coffey’s employment was terminated after coming to work and after giving the department a second “return to work release,” according to information presented during the meeting.
Wyatt said Coffey took two sick days in April of that year. The attorney stated that, according to the city policy manual, a return to work release is not required unless more than two days were accumulated on sick leave. The City of Italy is an at-will employer and can terminate employment at any time and with or without any reason.
The TCOLE personnel information record shows Coffey’s service with different departments ranging from a little more than one month, like time at the Maypearl Police Department from Nov. 1, 2005 to Dec. 8, 2005, to time at other departments varying from four to 11 months.
Coffey was hired a second time with the Maypearl Police Department as a reserve officer in March 2010. A reserve police officer is an officer who is typically unpaid but volunteers his or her time to performing law enforcement duties. He then became a full-time officer with Maypearl in November 2010, serving as a sergeant. Coffey was promoted to police chief in September 2013.
As of 3 p.m. Friday Coffey remains in custody at the detention center with bonds totaling $800,000.
— Follow Andrew on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/AndrewBrancaWDL or Twitter at www.twitter.com/AndrewBrancaWNI. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 469-517-1451