AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — One of Texas’ top law enforcement officials has been charged with sexual assault after a woman said he raped her after taking her into the woods during a party at his house.
John Jones, a former Navy SEAL, was chief of intelligence and counterterrorism for the Texas Department of Public Safety until his arrest and firing on Tuesday. Jones caught the attention of President Donald Trump earlier this year when participating in a border security meeting with the president.
Trump tweeted a quote from Jones about the number of Texas prison inmates who were in the country illegally and had committed sexual assault against children.
“Most came through our Southern Border. We can end this easily — We need a Steel Barrier or Wall. Walls Work!” Jones said, according to Trump’s tweet in January.
Jones remained in jail Wednesday with bail set at $750,000. Jail records did not list an attorney for Jones who could comment on the allegations.
DPS officials said the agency’s Texas Rangers, a unit that previously worked on investigations with Jones, will assist local prosecutors and law enforcement. They declined further comment.
The 45-year-old Jones had worked at the Department of Public Safety since 2009. He had a high-profile role in state law enforcement, leading a group of 150 law enforcement analysts. He also headed the Texas Joint Crime Information Center, which works with federal and regional law enforcement on homeland security and incident reporting.
In March, Jones was on a South by Southwest festival panel about drones and using technology to respond to public safety threats.
According to the arrest affidavit for Jones, the woman accusing him of rape told investigators she attended a party at Jones’ home on July 20 in the Austin suburb of Leander. She said he was drinking heavily and passed out, and that he woke up that evening and began drinking again.
The woman told investigators she later agreed to go with Jones on an all-terrain vehicle ride on nearby trails as she drove. She said he took control of the vehicle and drove into a secluded area and raped her.
She told investigators that Jones drove them back to the house and told her not to tell anyone what happened.