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Charges dropped against former DPS counterterrorism chief

John Jones Jr. was previously charged with sexual assault and possession of child pornography.

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas — Charges including sexual assault and possession of child pornography have been dropped for John Jones Jr., the former counterterrorism chief for the Texas DPS.

Prosecutors filed the pornography charge in March 2021 after already deciding to drop the 2019 sexual assault case against him.

Jones was fired in 2019 after he was arrested on the sexual assault charge, stemming from allegations that he raped a woman during a party at his Travis County home. Jones has contended that the sex was consensual.

The Travis County District Attorney's Office filed a motion Monday in which it stated that the evidence in the child pornography charge was "insufficient."

"The DA’s office takes allegations of possession of child pornography extremely seriously," the office said in a statement earlier this week. "Ultimately, the investigation failed to reveal evidence that the possession of child pornography was intentional, and the DA’s office dismissed the case."

In 2019, KVUE reported that the alleged rape occurred at a party on Apple Springs Hollow in Leander on July 20. An arrest warrant stated that Jones and the woman went for a ride on an ATV when he allegedly forced it off the road to then rape her. 

RELATED: Ex-DPS official accused in brutal rape bonds out of jail

A few months after Jones was arrested on the sexual assault charge, the woman was denied a request for a lifetime protective order against Jones. Visiting state District Judge Jon Wisser said he did not find the evidence to be clear and convincing.

Later, in February 2021, prosecutors declined to pursue the sexual assault charge. Jones' lawyer stated that it was during that investigation that officials went through Jones' work phone and found one image that led to the child pornography charge. 

His lawyer, Adam Muery, said it was not child porn but a cached image from an adult site. A doctor told prosecutors the image was likely a girl between 10 and 15 years of age, but Muery insists the person pictured was an adult.

According to Muery, the Travis County District Attorney's Office told him in 2019 that investigators discovered the image but would not proceed with a charge because a single image was not sufficient evidence to ethically proceed with the prosecution. But different prosecutors decided to move forward in 2021.

"It was only when the judge finally set it for trial that [prosecutors] dismissed it," Muery told KVUE's media partners at the Austin American-Statesman. "They never had any intention to try this case."

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