Assistant District Attorney Tim Poynter, who serves Goliad, DeWitt and Refugio counties, has been appointed to serve as special prosecutor in the case against Victoria County Constable Jesse Garza.
Signed by District Judge Stephen Williams, that appointment came Jan. 14 with the recusal of Victoria County District Attorney Constance Filley Johnson.
In a written statement, Johnson declined to reveal why she requested the recusal. Prosecutors may request recusal if they have previously represented or consulted with a defendant.
“I have a conflict of interest. In keeping with the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, I am not able to elaborate any further,” she said.
Garza, who serves Precinct 1, which includes Placedo and Bloomington, was indicted Dec. 20 for sexual assault and official oppression.
According to court documents, a Texas Rangers investigation accused him of sexually assaulting a woman in a secluded part of Victoria County during a ride-along.
Garza, who is represented by former Victoria County District Attorney Dexter Eaves, has argued the act was consensual.
Although Poynter declined to answer specifically whether he would consider dismissing any of Garza’s charges through a plea deal, he said he was committed to seeking justice.
“I believe that no person is above or below the law. I do not think there is a higher standard for public officials in the courtroom, but (for) a public official, more laws do apply to that person,” he wrote in a statement.