BELTON — A suspended Texas Department of Public Safety sergeant was indicted Wednesday and charged with indecency with a child by sexual contact, a second-degree felony.
Harpin Ezekiel Myers, 60, of Kempner, was suspended in December 2015 when allegations were made related to off-duty behavior, DPS spokesman Tom Vinger told the Temple Daily Telegram on Thursday.
DPS has started termination proceedings against Myers, a former Killeen-based media spokesman for the agency, Vinger said.
A joint investigation by the Bell County Special Crimes Unit and the Texas Rangers began after a report involving a 15-year-old girl was made.
A sealed indictment issued against Myers Wednesday was listed on county documents as an unnamed true bill.
The indictment said that the incident happened Nov. 1, 2015.
The investigation began when Myers was suspended.
DPS Sgt. Dave Roberts, who stepped into Myers’ spot as the local public information officer, was shocked Thursday morning when he learned about Myers’ arrest from a Telegram reporter.
Myers was booked into the Bell County Jail at 11:25 a.m. Thursday after he turned himself in. He was released later that day after posting a $10,000 bond, Bell County Sheriff’s Department Maj. T.J. Cruz said.
Myers’ bond was set by 27th District Court Judge John Gauntt, Bell County District Attorney Henry Garza said. Garza said that any questions about the bond amount should be addressed to Gauntt.
Bonds for similar crimes are usually set at between $100,000 and $250,000, local lawyer Michael White said Thursday.
An attorney was not listed for Myers Thursday.
In 2013, articles about the Myers family and their five adopted and ethnically diverse children and two biological children were published by FME News Service. Myers referred to their family as the Rainbow Family.
Myers’ indictment prompted supporters to post comments Thursday on the Telegram’s Facebook page.
Monique Flores Pelham reminded people that Myers is innocent until proven guilty. She said she’s known Myers and his family her entire life through church, work and their hometown.
“I believe him to be the person so many others know him to be. I pray that the justice system does right and that we will all see this is an unfortunate situation that never should have happened,” Pelham said.
Sandra McGath said she doesn’t believe what’s been claimed and has known Myers “for decades.”
“This is not something he would do,” McGath said.
JoAnna Elizabeth Odom believes the charge is “trumped up,” she posted.
“I’ve known him since high school, and he and his wife for many years. I’m finding this extremely difficult to believe,” Odom said.
Myers started with DPS in February 1981, Vinger said.