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Deputy Arrested After Making Sex Offender Pose for Nude Pics

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By Daniel Taylor, Esq. on September 22, 2014 8:56 AM

A Texas sheriff's deputy is facing some charges of his own after allegedly tricking sex offenders into posing for nude photographs.

One man recently released from prison reported that when he went to register as a sex offender with the Wise County Sheriff's Office, Deputy Chad Hightower informed him of a new state law that required all sex offenders to be photographed in the nude. The deputy took the man into a bathroom, where he stripped naked and had photographs taken from all sides, reports the Wise County Messenger.

As you might have guessed, there is no such law. Don't worry, though: The story gets way worse.

Camera Contained Pictures of 'Several More Nude Males': Affidavit

When the sex offender returned to the sheriff's office a month later to update his information, Hightower allegedly told him the first photos didn't turn out because of a glare, and that more would have to be taken. He drove the victim to the county's impound yard, where he once again directed the victim to take off his clothes.

This time, however, Hightower allegedly instructed the victim that the state would also require a photograph of his erect penis. After declining Hightower's request, the victim says Hightower asked an additional "three or four times" for the victim to obtain an erection before allowing him to leave.

The victim reported the incidents to a district attorney's office investigator. According to the arrest warrant affidavit, along with images of the victim, the SD cards from Hightower's county-owned camera contained deleted images of "several more nude males that appear to be in the same bathroom (the victim) described, others are in the county impound office and yet more in what appears to be a residence."

Charged With Improper Photography

Hightower is being charged with felony improper photography. Under the Texas Penal Code, photographing another person in a bathroom or dressing room without the person's consent and with the intent to invade that person's privacy or to "arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person" is a state jail felony punishable by up to two years behind bars and a $10,000 fine.

Coincidentally, the law that Hightower is accused of violating was the subject of a Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruling last week. The court found the subsection of the statute used to prosecute those who take upskirt photos of women in public or secret photos of children in bathing suits was an unconstitutional limitation on free expression. However, the portion of the law prohibiting non-consensual photos in bathrooms or dressing rooms remains valid.

Hightower is currently free on $25,000 bond. According to the Wise County Messenger, Hightower has put in his papers to retire from the sheriff's department and is on leave until his retirement later this month.

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