Guilty plea in long-running sexual assault of child

William Swaggerty Jr.


A long running case of child sexual abuse has ended in a plea of guilty for a Beaumont man.

William Lewis Swaggerty Jr., 46, was indicted by a Jefferson County grand jury April 21, 2011, for sexual assault of a child, a second-degree felony. If convicted, he could have faced five to 99 years in prison.

According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by The Examiner, Swaggerty’s troubles with the law began when the daughter of his former girlfriend reported to police March 30, 2009, that she and Swaggerty had engaged in sexual intercourse at her home on Homer Drive and at Swaggerty’s residence on Park Meadow Drive.

The victim had told her mother, and the two drove immediately to the BPD station downtown, according to the affidavit.

After giving statements to police, a rape kit was administered by a sexual assault nurse examiner and the kit was submitted to a DNA crime lab.

But a few days later, the victim’s mother would have a change of heart.

According to the affidavit, the victim’s mother called police April 1, 2009, and told police that her daughter was forced to sign a statement and had lied to police. She demanded that police stop the investigation into Swaggerty, the mother’s boyfriend at the time, and police obliged after the young victim, who was 14 at the time, recanted her sworn statement to police.

Police closed the case April 6, 2009 — that is, until the DNA results from the rape kit came back.

According to the affidavit, on Dec. 14, 2010, the DPS Crime Lab in Austin matched DNA taken from semen in the rape kit to that of Swaggerty and soon after, police made contact with the victim and her mother. It was then that the girl detailed to police the full extent of her sexual assault at Swaggerty’s hands, detailing vaginal, anal and oral sex from January 2009 to March of 2009.

The young victim, now 19, told police that she was taken to the Behavioral Center after the rape examination and when she was picked up by her mother, the mother told the victim to lie to police about the assault.

“She was instructed by her mother to say that it did not happen and that was what she did,” the affidavit said.

When police re-interviewed the victim’s mother, she told police that their relationship had been strained and the victim was rebellious, but that she supported her daughter’s decision to press charges against Swaggerty.

Swaggerty was booked into the Jefferson County Jail on March 2, 2011, where he sat more than two years awaiting the results of additional DNA testing conducted at the request of his defense attorney.

Friday, Oct. 11, Swaggerty pleaded guilty to sexually molesting the young girl, taking a plea deal that would give him 10 years probation and a $1,000 fine.

Swaggerty must also register as a sex offender.

He is scheduled to appear before Judge John Stevens’ Criminal District Court for sentencing Nov. 12.