Justice of Peace candidate in La Vernia draws concerns over scandal

La Vernia a friendly small town in Texas, has had it's share of troubles.

Candidate tied to one of the accused in 2017 High School Sex Scandal

Texas Rangers continue investigation

A number of parents and educators in La Vernia, Texas are expressing their concerns about the relationship a justice of the peace candidate has with an individual allegedly involved in last year’s sexual assaults scandal.

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Law enforcement inquiries and discoveries rocked the small town of 1,250, just 30 minutes southeast of San Antonio, with the arrest of 13 students charged with sexual assault against more than 25 victims. Six adult students and seven juvenile classmates were charged in 2017 for the scandal involving the boy’s athletic program at the local high school.

Parents and citizens are concerned because “one of the student’s charged is a relative of candidate Brad Beck who is running for Justice of the Peace in Precinct 3,” a mother of La Vernia High School told NEWS LEGIT. “This scandal has divided our town and many of the people here are concerned how someone who is close to one of the accused could be fair as a judge.”

A father, also with students in the school district, said he was “very troubled. How can he, with close a connection of the very problem of someone who abused our children, be fair as a judge? The audacity to run for a position where he has power over our children with legal matters is upsetting.”

“One of the abused is a relative of mine,” another mother joined in. “What’s going to happen if one of these young men, students and their families who helped the police and Texas Rangers in their investigations has to face him as a judge? I don’t think he should be running.”

Texas Rangers continue their investigations into the alleged sexual assaults that resulted in the arrest of the high school students. Early voting is Feb. 20-March 2, with the Primary Election Date of March 6, 2018.

“We appreciate what he has done…but the investigation is not over.” — La Vernia citizen

Beck, a resident of La Vernia since 1995, has been active in local politics community efforts.

“We appreciate what he has done, and his family are good people,” a third man said during an interview today. “But because the investigation is not over, now is not the right time. People are hurting here. We don’t need the added burden of worrying about being offended more. It could happen. This is personal. His relative has been charged. I’m sorry, but as a judge he might know who pressed the charges or provide information for the investigations. We just don’t want to go through the bad possibilities this could bring.”

Beck is one of three candidates, including Connie Terry, a 30-year resident with 35 years of experience as an educator, and Lowell Hull, a veteran chief of police, detective and law enforcement officer.  The Precinct Justice presides over criminal cases such a traffic, drug paraphernalia possession, and public intoxication. The Judge also presides over Small Claims Court and Justice Court for civil cases including evictions, repair and remedy, debt claims, and small claims.

“I don’t want our sons facing Mr. Beck in court, because they may have given statements (regarding the sex abuse) to the police,” the first father said.

When asked what prompted getting in touch with NEWS LEGIT about their concerns, one citizen replied, “this is a power play. He would gain power and influence over this community.”

“Too many of us our hurting, both victims and those accused,” the first mother said. “We should not have to be concerned about our children and families appearing in court before someone who may be influenced by all of this.”

Investigators learned that three of the adult suspects along with a juvenile suspect held a 16-year-old male classmate down at an off campus home and sexually assaulted him with the threaded end of a CO2 air tank. The November 2016 crime was said to be part of the victim’s initiation into the varsity football team from the junior-varsity team.  “We’re lucky no one has died,” a credible source close to the investigations told NEW LEGIT. “Some of the acts committed on these boys were unbearably dangerous and brutal. This case goes beyond just the high school.”

“The parent of this child has gone through a living nightmare while her son struggled to deal with what happened,” a source, in education said. “As we understand it, she went to school authorities on several occasions to report it and seek help. She finally went to the police.”

“Yes, we are hurting,” the mother said. “We’re not over this. We are still suffering from the madness of losing our friends and family at Sutherland Springs. Please, we can’t take much more.”

Sutherland Springs is a nearby community from La Vernia and the site of the November 5, 2017 crazed shooting at First Baptist Church which took the lives of 26 worshipers.

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