Jaime Enrique Smith, 46, was also ordered by Judge Janna Whatley to pay a $1,500 fine for both counts of improper sexual activity with a person in custody.
Also sentenced on two counts of each of improper sexual activity with a person in custody, were Israel Charles Jr., 22, of Tuleta to a year in state jail and a $1,500 fine and Vincent Aguilar, 28, of George West to 18 months in state jail and a $1,500 fine.
The alleged incidents took place between each of the three jailers and two female inmates on the overnight shift that started on Aug. 20, 2010, and ended on Aug. 21, 2010. The female inmates reported the activity to jailers two days after the activity and were taken to a medical professional for examination. The jailers were brought in at that time, and their statements taken of what occurred. A full investigation was done by the Texas Rangers shortly after.
Each of the jailers originally pleaded guilty to multiple charges of improper sexual activity with a person in custody, but each had their counts reduced to two each. The crimes were punishable from six months up to two years in state jail, with the option of fines and restitution or probation.
Sobs could be heard from family members of the jailers as their sentencing were read out.
Various members of the Charles family took the stand to testify about his character prior to the judgment being handed down.
“He is one of the kindest persons I have known,” Israel Charles Sr. told the courtroom. “He had a reputation for being honest.”
“He is very loving and goes out of his way for other people,” said Mary Abrigo, aunt of Charles Jr.
There were eight family members in all who took the stand to testify about Charles Jr. All had similar things to say about his kindness and respect for others.
Neither Smith or Aguilar had a family member take the stand, but, instead, their attorneys chose to call Andrew Fraiser, who prepared the pre-sentence investigation report to the stand. Both attorneys questioned Fraiser about what was in the report and whether he had viewed the videotape, sound files and read the victim statements prior to completing his report. He said he had done none of those things.
One of the victims did appear in court but did not take the stand due to her tardiness to the courtroom.
Prosecuting assistant district attorney James Sales delivered the following closing statement to the courtroom, “These gentleman are supposed to be the shepherds and the inmates the sheep. When the shepherds become the wolves, who is left to protect the sheep?”
He encouraged the judge to give state jail time rather than probation to deter other jailers from committing similar crimes in the future.
“Please, consider the full range of punishment,” Stephen Foster, attorney for Charles Jr., asked the judge, “He confessed fully to this crime. He should be given the lower range of justice unlike these men. Please, take the different levels of guilt into consideration.”
“Mr. Smith at no time has tried to point the finger at anyone else,” attorney for Smith, Viki Martino, said. “Everything he has done since he committed the offense shows he is a candidate for probation.”
Judge Whatley informed each of the men upon reading their sentence that they had the option to appeal her decision.
“I am glad they got time in jail instead of probation,” one of the female inmates said outside of the courtroom after the sentencing concluded. “What they did to me is going to affect me for the rest of my life.”