Fired Texas DPS chief accused of sexual assault at party bonds out of jail

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — The chief of the Texas Department of Public Safety Intelligence and Counterterrorism Division was fired from the department Tuesday after he was arrested on a charge of sexual assault. His bond was reduced Thursday and he bonded out on Friday.

According to Texas DPS, John Jones, 45, was arrested after a joint operation between both the Travis County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Rangers. He was booked into the Travis County Jail.

Jones’ lawyer Benjamin Blackburn says he called a hearing with Judge Tamara Needles and the district attorney agreed to reduce his bond from $750,000 to $100,000. Conditions of his release include not coming within 200 yards of the woman, being under GPS house arrest while wearing an ankle monitor, and surrendering his passport and military ID.

“The constitution ensures rights upon every citizen in this country and that includes the right to be presumed innocent and to not have bail used as an instrument of oppression,” Blackburn said. “A $750,000 bond on a second-degree felony is on its face oppressive, especially for anyone who has never been charged with a crime in their life.”

According to a police report on the case, Jones threw a party at his home in Leander on July 20. The 44-year-old victim accuses Jones of the rape while they were riding an ATV on the property. Once they reached a secluded spot, Jones assaulted her and returned to the party, according to the victim. She left with a friend afterward and went to the hospital with her mother to get a forensic test.

According to the police affidavit, Jones told the victim “I know it’s wrong” during the assault.

The victim considered Jones a “pillar of the community” because of his position in state law enforcement, according to the report. The victim was at the party because she was a friend of Jones’ wife.

Jones faces a charge of sexual assault-rape.

The case is being investigated by the Travis County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the Texas Rangers and the Travis County District Attorney’s office.

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