Former Smith County constable’s second official oppression charge, prostitution charges dismissed

Crime & Public Safety

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Former constable Josh Black’s misdemeanor charges will be dismissed, the District Attorney’s office said in a release.

The DA’s office said charges were dismissed in exchange for Black waiving his right to appeal and his right to a new trial. Black’s attorney confirmed that all outstanding charges, including two charges for prostitution and a new charge for official oppression, were dismissed.

Black was convicted of official oppression Sept. 16 after a jury trial. The next day, he was sentenced to 180 days in the Smith County Jail. That conviction still stands.

Black is convicted of committing official oppression by offering sexual favors in exchange for free or discounted supervised visitation services.

During the punishment phase of the trial, the jury saw evidence and considered testimony regarding the facts and circumstances that gave rise to the new prostitution and official oppression charges.

The victim in those cases testified in the trial, and the jury “assessed punishment based on the testimony and evidence from all four cases.”

According to a release from the district attorney’s office, each of his victims expressed a desire to not be required to testify and to see the verdict in his earlier case become a final judgment. Each victim also expressed relief that Black had been removed from office.

Because of that, the state decided to dismiss the remaining misdemeanor prostitution charges in exchange for Black waiving his right to a new trial and his right to appeal.

The waiver makes Black’s removal from office permanent and ensures his victims will not have to testify again. It also allows the Smith County Commissioner’s Court to appoint a permanent replacement for the seat of Pct. 2 Constable as soon as possible.

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