State: Travis Co. judge won’t punish someone found guilty of sexual assault

Investigations

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A man found guilty of sexual assault by a Travis County jury in January 2019 still hasn’t been formally sentenced.

Now the Travis County District Attorney’s Office wants the judge tasked with doling out Byron Montiel-Flores’ punishment off the case.

In August 2017, Flores allegedly hired a woman to clean his home before sexually assaulting her while she cleaned, according to court documents.

In representing the state, the DA’s office says that Criminal Court Judge Chantal Eldridge “refuses to proceed with the punishment phase of this trial.”

They also say that Judge Eldridge’s ability to be impartial is questionable.

Eldridge was previously accused of sexual assault herself, related to a 16-year-old foreign exchange student who lived at her house in 2006. A Travis County grand jury declined to indict her in August 2018.

Moreover, the state also notes that she employs a registered sex offender.

Eldridge has been on the bench since January 2019. A hearing over her recusal is scheduled for Sept. 19.

KXAN has reached out to both the DA’s office and Judge Eldridge for comment.

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