by BRAD ROLLINS
Editor and Publisher
One-time District Attorney candidate Paul C. Velte IV continues to maintain his innocence as he appears headed to trial on a dozen felony charges stemming from his stepdaughter’s allegations that he sexually assaulted her, his attorney said this week.
A Hays County grand jury indicted Velte this month, nearly a year after his first arrest in March 2009 on a single charge of sexual assault of a child. In October, Velte was arrested again on additional sexual, physical and mental abuse charges levied by the Texas Attorney General’s office, which is prosecuting the case. Velte’s wife, Jessica Marie Velte, 28, was arrested in October with her husband and charged with two counts of injury to a child for failing, prosecutors say, to prevent the abuse.
“Paul has always maintained his innocence… He’s an absolutely normal human being who wouldn’t have done this. He sort of got caught up in a little girl’s web of lies so she could be with her boyfriend,” said San Marcos attorney David Sergi, who represents Paul Velte.
The grand jury found enough evidence to warrant Velte’s standing trial for a dozen felonies including two counts of first-degree felony aggravated sexual assault of a child; six counts of injury to a child, one of those a first-degree felony and five of them third-degree felonies; and four counts of second-degree felony indecency with a child.
If found guilty on the most serious of the charges, Velte could be sentenced to 99 years in prison or more, depending on how the sentences are handed out.
The case is unfolding as Velte might otherwise be running for office again. In the 2006 Republican Party primary, Velte won more than 47 percent against then-First Assistant District Attorney Wes Mau, who went on to lose narrowly to District Attorney Sherri Tibbe, who has recused her office from the case.
Before his arrest last year, Velte had been planning a second bid this year against Tibbe, who instead went unopposed when no other Republicans challenged her. In a letter to supporters after his first arrest last year, Velte seemed to concede that his political career is over for the time being.
“It is, of course, impossible to mount a campaign for public office while these sorts of allegations are being made against me. This dashes my dreams to run for office where I could make a real difference in my community for the better,” Velte wrote.
San Marcos Mercury Editor and Publisher Brad Rollins writes about Hays County for the Hays Free Press where this story was originally published. It is reprinted here through a news partnership between the Free Press and the Mercury.