Oppression trial begins, prostitution case involving Smith County agent postponed | criminality

A trial for a Smith County agent accused of official oppression and two counts of prostitution began Monday with jury selection, while another was postponed for two weeks due to COVID-19.

Constable Joshua Black, Smith County 2 Station, was arrested and charged last week on a second prostitution charge. He was held in Smith County Jail Thursday and released the same day.

Black was charged in November 2020 with offering to provide a woman with supervised visitation services in exchange for sexual favors, according to indictments of November 5, 2020. Court records show the offenses Black is charged with committed took place on July 31, 2020.

Black is charged with official oppression in 114th District Court on the 2020 charges. That trial began on Monday with the jury selection process.

The official oppression indictment says a grand jury found that Black had subjected the woman to ill-treatment he knew was illegal “by offering to provide him with supervised visitation services in return for a fee. sexual contact with (the woman) “.

Oppression is defined as a public servant intentionally subjecting another person to mistreatment, denying or obstructing the exercise of their rights, privileges, powers or immunities, or subjecting another to sexual harassment, according to the Texas Criminal Code.

The trial for the original prostitution charge has been set for Monday with jury selection in Smith County Court for Law # 2. The trial is now scheduled for September 27 after someone involved in the he case contracted COVID-19.

Regarding the most recent prostitution charge, Smith County District Attorney Jacob Putman said the arrest and indictment related to another alleged victim. The initial investigation produced additional evidence leading to the additional charge

Court reports allege that this offense took place on September 25, 2019 and accuses Black of knowingly offering money to another person to engage in sexual behavior.

Other charges may be possible, Putman said.

Smith County Law # 2 Court Judge Taylor Heaton last week dismissed the Black Defense Team’s habeas corpus order, which is a means of attempting to report unlawful detention.

In her case and arguments in court, Black’s attorney Mishae Boren said the section of the Texas Penal Code that makes prostitution illegal violates the First, Fifth, Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. , including the right to due process, the right to privacy and freedoms of expression and association.

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