In a statement released by Sheriff LaRive last Wednesday, two Chambers County investigators were disciplined for mishandling the investigation of Sgt. Gabriel Marcelo Davila, following an internal investigation.

The officer originally assigned the investigation, Captain John Mulryan, who has been with the sheriff’s department for 19 years has been suspended from duties from Oct. 24th -28th, 2011 without pay and has been reassigned within the department for mishandling the case.

The investigating officer’s supervisor in the investigation was Chief Deputy Mike Wheat, who has been with the department for 23 years also received suspension of duties from Oct. 17th -21st, 2011 without pay for substandard supervision in the case.

 

Sheriff Joe LaRive stated “We take all our investigations, both criminally and internally, very seriously. Any indication of substandard performance warrants immediate and appropriate action. Our disciplinary action in this matter has been both.”

Sgt. Gabriel Marcelo Davila has been charged with six counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and six counts of indecency with a child. Sheriff Joe LaRive said he never had any direct contact with the mother that placed the complaint against Davila in December of 2009.

She contacted District Attorney, Cheryl Lieck’s office in June of this year, accusing the DA’s office of a “cover up” of the allegations against “one of their own”. Lieck immediately contacted the sheriff’s office demanding the file case, only to find it contained only the mother’s original complaint.

She then turned the investigation over to the Texas Rangers, which resulted in the grand jury indictments. Davila, who had been employed by the Chambers County Sheriff department for over eight years as a jail supervisor, was suspended from his duties at the sheriff’s department in July of this year while the Texas Rangers conducted their investigation into the allegations against Davila.

After the indictments were handed down Davila was terminated from the sheriff’s department and placed under arrest. He has since made the $60,000 bail that was set. Understand an indictment is not an indication of guilt, only that the grand jury believes the case should be determined in a court of law and by a jury of the defendant’s peers. The grand jury does not determine guilt only that there is enough probability that a crime has been committed and the accused should be tried in a court of law.

Realize the District Attorneys do not present a full case before a grand jury, but introduces key facts to show sufficient probability that the accused committed a crime. A defendant and if the defendant has an attorney, may not know that their case is being presented to a grand jury and may not be present when the grand jury convenes.

District Attorney, Cheryl Lieck would not comment on the actions of the sheriff’s department only stating “I am focusing on getting this case heard”