Allegation classified as simple assault

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Orange Grove Journal

Former Jim Wells County Deputy Vicky Puente refiled her simple assault complaint at the Alice Police Department against Deputy Jason Childers.

The case will come up for an initial hearing in Alice Municipal Court on Jan 9.

Puente, who originally filed a sexual harassment complaint with APD, came back this month to file it under simple assault, as requested by City Attorney Joe Torres in order for the case to move forward.

Puente had filed the sexual harassment complaint with the JWC Sheriff's Department while a deputy there, but said nothing was done on the case.

Following her resignation, she refiled with APD.

The alleged incident took place at the JWC Sheriff's Department in August.

In her written statement to APD, Puente said that while employed with the JWC Sheriff's office, she was the victim of sexual harassment.

She alleges that former Alice High School COPS in Schools Deputy Jason Childers "slapped her (buttocks)," Puente said in the complaint. A witness to the incident, former deputy Mark Martinez, was also named in the complaint.

Both Puente and Martinez resigned in September, following an investigation into a departmental policy issue. Puente said she resigned from the department due to health issues, and had received no notice as to the outcome of the investigation. She claims no wrongdoing on her part. Martinez has not commented on his resignation.

The Alice Echo-News Journal is still awaiting an Attorney General's opinion on the original sexual harassment complaint Puente filed with the Jim Wells County Sheriff's Department prior to her resignation.

Lt. Cosme Castillo, COPS in Schools Supervisor, said that Childers was transferred from the COPS in Schools program at Alice High School to patrol duty after the complaint was filed.