A Fort Polk soldier pleaded guilty this week to sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl at a Killeen hotel in 2018, while another man filmed the assault.
Dylan Rosario Lucas, 22, of Dayton, Ohio, pleaded guilty to sexual assault of a child, a second-degree felony, during a remote hearing in the 264th Judicial District Court.
His sentencing hearing is set for July 30.
Lucas was listed in jail on Friday in lieu of a bond of $25,000 on the second-degree felony charge of sexual assault of a child.
He was booked into jail on July 30, 2019.
A co-defendant in the case, Jesse Jeremiah Thorburn, 21, of Leesville, Louisiana, was arrested later for the same assault.
Thorburn was booked into jail on Jan. 10 and was being held in the Bell County Jail on Friday in lieu of bonds totaling $200,000.
He is set to plead guilty in the same court on May 28 to charges of sexual assault of a child and sexual performance of a child, a third-degree felony.
Lucas is an active-duty soldier based at Fort Polk, Louisiana, and Thorburn is not listed as a soldier, according to Fort Hood’s media relations division, previously.
The victim reported to Killeen police that Lucas sexually assaulted her on Dec. 14, 2018, at a Killeen hotel. The detective said he “reviewed a cellphone video showing Lucas having sex with (the victim),” according to the arrest affidavit.
Police said that Thorburn was the person holding that cellphone, and that he also had sex with the girl and was more than three years older than her at the time.
Judge Paul LePak said during the hearing that Lucas’s plea is “open,” meaning that he does not have a plea arrangement with the state.
“Because there is no plea bargain, the entire range of punishment would be available to me upon sentencing,” LePak said. He reminded Lucas that a second-degree felony is punishable by two to 20 years in prison.
“Do you wish to plead guilty or not guilty?”
“Guilty, sir,” Lucas answered.
“I accept the defendant’s plea,” LePak said.
A presentence report will be completed prior to Lucas’s sentencing hearing.
Defense attorney Kyle Watkins then asked the judge to consider a personal recognizance bond, an idea that the state’s prosecutor opposed.
“Aside from the obvious, (which is a) sexual assault of a child charge and what that can mean for him in terms of going to prison or being a registered sex offender, he has no ties to Texas,” said Assistant District Attorney Erica Morgan. “He drove here from Louisiana for the purpose of meeting the victim in this case. When he was done, he went back to Louisiana. We don’t want to have to hunt him down and extradite him.”
LePak did not approve an interview for a personal recognizance bond, but he did reduce the bond to $25,000.
“If you’re released from custody, make sure we have current and accurate information,” LePak said to Lucas. “Don’t get to Ohio and decide that you don’t have a way to get back here for sentencing. That would be a significant problem.”
LePak did not ask that Lucas be forced to stay in Texas but required that Lucas sign a “waiver of extradition” that would make the extradition process from another state happen more smoothly.
Morgan asked that Lucas not be allowed to contact the victim and be ordered to stay 1,000 feet away from her home.
Watkins said that he expects Lucas to face other consequences.
“He has not been removed from service yet but we anticipate that he will be separated from the Army after he’s asked to report back to Fort Polk,” he said.