Webster deputy faces child sex charges

By Jeff Ferrell – bio|email

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) – A patrol supervisor was on duty on Monday (5/17) despite being indicted on child sex charges four days earlier.  That was the reality in one part of the Ark-La-Tex, until KSLA News 12 got involved.

That indictment came down Thursday, May 13th by a Texas grand jury.  It accuses Lt. Robert Booth of sexual assault of a family member.  It took just a few phone calls  and some checking to find the legal documentation of the indictment on the Nueces County, Texas Clerk of Court web site.

Less than 30-minutes after I faxed a copy of that document to the Webster Sheriff's department, Lt. Booth was finally placed on administrative leave.  And KSLA News 12 is told, that's where he'll remain as authorities and Lt. Booth await the pending arrest warrant.  Repeated efforts to reach Booth proved unsuccessful.

Toni Booth says she won't soon forget her husband's reaction to the claims against him, especially since Lt. Booth is a trusted supervisor.  "I expected him to say, 'I love you.  I love her.  I wouldn't do it.  I'll take a polygraph.  But, it was more like, 'I'm not taking a polygraph."

She credits her son for convincing their family member to file criminal charges now five years after the alleged abuse ended and 17 years after it allegedly began when the victim was just 6 years of age.

But Sheriff Sexton told us that Lt. Booth has an impeccable record on the force and elsewhere.  That's why the sheriff decided to keep Booth on duty, "…being that these were just allegations.  Let the Louisiana State Police, to know, to immediately notify me if there was any kind of findings of the allegations she had made here in Louisiana," explained Sheriff Sexton.

Sexton also explained why it is the LA State Police investigating the allegations against Lt. Booth, "…being that Robert works for the Webster Parish Sheriff's Department, I certainly didn't want to be advising the investigation so I called in the Louisiana State Police to handle the investigation for us."

Three months later, that investigation continues.  The victim only turned to Nueces County prosecutors a month after the original complaint was filed in Louisiana because the family had lived in Corpus Christi, Texas for a year during the period of alleged abuse.

The chief investigator for the Nueces County D.A.'s office predicted the actual warrant for the arrest of Lt. Robert Booth will come later this week.  Then, they'll call local authorities here to pick him up.

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