A police officer and his wife have been charged with sexual performance by a child after having sex with a 17-year-old and recording it.
Samuel and Ashley Tejeda, who are both from Texas, were charged on Wednesday with two counts of sexual performance by a child after turning themselves in earlier the same day at around 8 a.m.
The teenage girl involved in the case is reported to have known Samuel Tejeda personally, and she is related to somebody he was working with at the police department.
The girl told police that she had sex with Tejeda “multiple times” in the yard of the home she lived and inside the Tejedas home.
28-year-old Samuel Tejeda had been working at the Georgetown Police Department since March 2018 after graduating in 2017 from the police academy.
He married Ashley Tejeda in December 2019, and the couple has two children together. Police began the investigation on January 26 after receiving a tip-off.
Officer Samuel Tejeda was placed on leave the following day, and the couple turned themselves in one week later following a search of their home.
Ashley Tejeda admitted to recording a video while having sex with the teen but later deleted it when she heard of the investigation underway.
Police are also believed to have discovered a computer hard drive in the couple’s home, which had been broken intentionally.
Samuel Tejeda did not have any previous criminal history, nor did he face any disciplinary action while working at the Georgetown Police Department before this incident.
A defense attorney who is not involved in the case told a news outlet that Texas’s age of consent is 17, but the age for sexual performance — including videos — is 18.
Defense Attorney Charlie Baird explained: “If a child engages in this activity, and she is younger than 17 then that is what’s known as statutory rape. If you are making a movie, a video, or something of that nature, then that is what’s known as sexual performance. The age threshold for that to be legal in Texas is 18.”
Baird believes that the many pieces of evidence obtained against the police officer imply that the authorities will throw the book at him once the case goes to trial.
The expert stated: “I think this is especially damning against them because the individual was, in fact, a law enforcement officer. That makes it more difficult from a criminal defense standpoint.”
The couple was released from custody after they each posted a $60,000 bail.