Fifth Circuit Denies Qualified Immunity Defense to Texas Deputy Who …

Forced a Woman to Expose Herself to Him While He Masturbated


On Sept. 18, 2018, Tyson’s husband had called the Sheriff’s Department of Sabine County, Texas, to request a welfare check on his wife. According to court documents, Tyson was at home “alone and distressed” while Wade Tyson was out of town.

Boyd called Melissa Tyson that night, introducing himself as a sheriff and telling her he would stop by the next morning. At the time, he told Tyson that he handled welfare checks because he was a preacher, although as the Fifth Circuit ruling notes, Boyd’s “ministerial credentials had actually been revoked eleven years prior because of prohibited sexual conduct.” As a minister, Boyd had also been sued by church members for alleged sexual misconduct.

Boyd did indeed go to Tyson’s house the next day, but rather than address Tyson’s well-being, Boyd allegedly engaged in disturbing conduct that left her traumatized and afraid.

From the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit:

The next morning, Deputy Boyd showed up alone at Tyson’s home in a plain car and wearing a shirt identifying himself as a “Sheriff.” He was not visibly carrying a weapon. Tyson offered a handshake but, instead, Deputy Boyd hugged her. Deputy Boyd asked if there was a place that they could talk. She led him to chairs and a table on the side porch of the house. Before sitting down, Deputy Boyd asked if she had security cameras or neighbors, and he began to search the exterior of the home. Tyson said that she did not have cameras and her neighbors were usually not home. He commented that Tyson “must be lonely with [her] husband being gone” and “living . . . by [herself] the majority of the time at a dead-end road.” Tyson said that she wasn’t lonely, she was fine. She testified that she thought the officer’s behavior was strange, but she gave him the benefit of the doubt because he was helping her.

Deputy Boyd stayed for approximately two hours, during which time he made numerous inappropriate sexual statements and commands, which the district court found were neither invited nor consensual. For example, Deputy Boyd told Tyson that he and fellow officers had recently seen her at a restaurant, and he repeated sexual comments that the officers made about her body. For example, he said that the officers talked about “what they would like to do to [her] if they could.” He also compared the size of Tyson’s breasts with his wife’s breasts. He pressed her to answer invasive questions about her sex life, such as whether she and her husband would consider a threesome and whether her husband would allow someone to watch them having sex. And he asked for nude pictures of her husband.

Tyson alleges that Deputy Boyd then sexually assaulted her on the porch of her home. He commanded her to expose her breasts and her vagina, and spread her labia to expose her clitoris. After a prolonged hesitation, Tyson complied. Deputy Boyd then masturbated to ejaculation in front of her. She closed her eyes and waited for him to finish, at which point he left.

More where that came from at LAW&CRIME

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