By Philip Jankowski
Killeen Daily Herald
Killeen police fired officer Kirt Yarbrough Monday after an internal investigation confirmed their suspicions that he had an inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old student of the department's youth outreach program.
Yarbrough also was dismissed for "untruthfulness," a news release from the Killeen Police Department stated.
Grand juries in Bell and Coryell counties indicted Yarbrough, 53, Feb. 22 on two sexual assault charges after police investigations determined he had sex with a 16-year-old member of the Killeen Police Explorer program at hotels in Temple and Copperas Cove in December.
Yarbrough had remained on paid administrative leave since Jan. 5 while Killeen police conducted an internal investigation. With Monday's announcement, Yarbrough will no longer draw a paycheck, but he could appeal the firing.
Phone messages left at Yarbrough's Copperas Cove home seeking comment were not returned Monday.
Yarbrough was a 16-year veteran of KPD who served in the department's patrol vision. He had been associated with the Killeen Police Explorer program since at least 2002.
Police leadership suspended the youth outreach program when allegations of sexual assault against Yarbrough surfaced.
The program aims to educate youth, ages 14 to 21, about careers in law enforcement. Students go on ride-alongs, have strict dress codes and are required to maintain passing grades in school.
KPD spokeswoman Carroll Smith said the policies of the program still are being examined and revamped. "Once that's done, we will reopen it," she said.
Killeen police arrested Yarbrough Jan. 12 after he was accused of having sex with a juvenile. Police interviewed the alleged victim, who stated the two met twice and had sex.
Police reviewed cellphone images of the two kissing and transcripts of Internet chat sessions that showed Yarbrough had a sexual relationship with the Killeen Independent School District student, court documents state.
It is against the law in Texas to engage in sexual activity with a minor, 16 years old or younger. The crime, sexual assault, carries a penalty of two to 20 years in prison.
Contact Philip Jankowski at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7553. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcrime.