A chief and assistant fire chief were arrested by Texas Rangers Thursday for tampering with witnesses in connection with the Waxahachie Volunteer Fire Department sexual assault case. Five firefighters were arrested earlier this week for charges of sexually assaulting a new recruit with a chorizo sausage. A woman, who is not a firefighter, was arrested and charged for videotaping the act with her cellphone.
Breitbart Texas reported about the arrest of five male volunteer firefighters who were charged with aggravated sexual assault of a recruit. The five men are alleged to have sexually assaulted the man with a sausage, and to have put a broom stick between the recruit’s butt checks. The stick did not penetrate his anus.
Firefighters Casey Stafford (30), Preston Peyrot (19), Alec Miller (28), Keith Wisakowsky (26), and Blake Tucker (19), were arrested and charged late Monday or early Tuesday with Aggravated Sexual Assault.
Another individual who is not a firefighter, Brittany Parten (23), was also arrested for using her cell phone to record the incident. She was charged with Improper Photography or Visual Recording.
Fire chief Gavin Satterfield (31), and assistant fire chief, William “Billy” Getzendaner (34) were arrested and released on bond. Legal records state that the officials knew about the sexual assault at the Emergency Service District 6 Volunteer Fire Department in Waxahachie but told the alleged perpetrators and the recruit victim not to report the crime to authorities.
According to arrest warrants obtained by Channel5 NBCDFW, Chief Satterfield and Assistant Chief Getzendaner held a meeting inside their office with the five men and the victim. They viewed the video of the crime.
According to the arrest warrant, Getzendaner is accused of having “laughed and chuckled stating he saw the video and made the statement ‘This is funny s—t.’” The victim told law enforcement that Getzendaner followed up this statement with “We can’t be sticking chorizo up [victim’s] butt.” The recruit said that the prospective witness firefighters “laughed at his comments together.”
The arrest warrant also states that Assistant Chief Getzendaner “informed the prospective witness that [victim] could do something to ‘us’ and looked at [victim] and said ‘But you’re not going to.’” The recruit stated it was then that he knew neither the Chief nor Assistant Chief were going to take any disciplinary action against the firefighters.
When Texas Rangers interviewed the firefighters, the Rangers were told that the Chief and Assistant Chief advised the victim and the actors that the act would be investigated as a sexual assault and to heed their instructions to withhold information to persons outside of the Fire Department. The warrant states “Assistant Chief Getzendaner told the prospective witnesses that this could be a Sexual Assault, to keep the knowledge of the sexual assault in-house, delete the video, and keep their mouths shut.”
Section 36.05(a) of the Texas Penal Code provides that:
A person commits an offense if, with intent to influence the witness, he offers, confers, or agrees to confer any benefit on a witness or prospective witness in an official proceeding, or he coerces a witness or a prospective witness in an official proceeding:
- to testify falsely;
- to withhold any testimony, information, document, or thing;
- to elude legal process summoning him to testify or supply evidence;
- to absent himself from an official proceeding to which he has been legally summoned; or
- to abstain from, discontinue, or delay the prosecution of another.
The offense is a felony of the first degree.
Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served the state of Texas as a prosecutor and associate judge. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2