Groves man accused of child sexual abuse
Police arrested a 50-year-old Groves man on charges stemming from a six-month investigation into allegations of inappropriate sexual abuse and improper photography of underage females.
David Lawrence Guest was arrested Thursday, Sept. 5, by Groves Police detectives on one count of indecency with a child by sexual contact, a second-degree felony, and one count of improper photography or visual recording, a state-jail felony. Lt. Kirk Rice, public information officer for the Groves Police Department, said the department received a complaint in April regarding the alleged abuse. Rice said Guest — the father of twins, a 13-year-old daughter and son — was actually discovered by police through a video his son had recorded of his father photographing the alleged victim. Police have not released the victim’s name, but according to Rice, it was a female between the ages of 12-15.
“His son videoed him in the daughter’s bedroom taking photographs of the underage girls,” Rice said. “That’s how we got involved because the son thought it was very strange for his dad to be acting this way. Supposedly he had told his mom on more than one occasion that he had some concerns and it made him feel uncomfortable. He ends up telling the neighbor. The neighbor’s husband was a Beaumont police officer, and that’s how we were notified. For it to be so obvious for a 13-year-old boy to realize it, it was serious.”
Rice said that in April, shortly after the complaint, police seized Guest’s computer and other electronic devices. Guest’s wife had given consent to search the residence.
Guest had no prior criminal record, according to Rice, and was an active member of the community.
“In this situation, people thought he was a very good father," Rice said. "He was very involved with his kids. He participated in a lot of school functions. He was a volunteer on school-sponsored trips. Of course, in his mind, he’s doing it to gain access to kids. As soon as this came out, we notified the schools in April, and the schools banned him from any other trips at that point in time.”
Rice said Guest used child grooming and manipulation as means of gaining the children’s trust.
“Parents had suspicions because they heard stories that he would wrestle around with the girls, but they said on the other hand, they would see him play with the kids outside a lot and was always at school functions and they just kind of wrote it off,” Rice said. “When you have a person like this who is targeting underage kids, they will do certain things ... things that involve a lot of touching. Kids are educated early on about good touch and bad touch, but sometimes in situations like this when you have a person that is manipulating these kids, they don’t think of it as a bad touch.”
Rice said police are concerned there might be other children who Guest abused and that Groves Police investigators have developed information during the course of the investigation that indicates there are additional victims who have not reported their victimization to police. According to a Groves Police Department press release, the incident took place in the 2800 block of Cooley Avenue in Groves.
“We are just trying to be very precautionary in a situation like this," Rice said. "If a child did frequent that residence in the past, and they want us to talk to them, we’ll be glad to.”
Rice said that due to the sensitive nature of this investigation, no further details about the victims would be released. He did say, however, that he reported the allegations of sexual abuse to Child Protective Services in the interest of Guest's children.
"I notified CPS regarding the original allegations out of concern that she (Guest's daughter) may have been victimized," Rice said. "CPS interviewed both children and closed it out as unfounded."
Following his arrest, Guest was transported and booked into the Jefferson County Correctional Facility. His bonds were set at $200,000 for the indecency with a child charge and $10,000 for the improper photography or visual recording charge. He was arraigned by Criminal District Judge Layne Walker and bonded out Sept. 6. Police say the investigation is ongoing. Investigators ask that any other possible victims call (409) 962-0244 or (409) 727-1614.