Ex-deputy accused of sex assault re-arrested on new charges

September 28, 2011 8:28:16 PM PDT
A former sheriff's deputy is in jail after being missing for more than a month.

We were the only ones at the Inmate Processing Center when Former Harris County Deputy Paul Briones was brought in. He would normally be getting processed on Wednesday night but instead, he's in the hospital, according to his attorney, putting off jail for at least one more night.

"Have you been running from police?" we asked Briones. "How come you didn't show up to court in August?"

Briones didn't answer any of our questions as he was brought in to jail Wednesday afternoon. He's had a warrant out for his arrest for almost a month after missing court twice. Last month, he told Eyewitness News he's been having health problems.

"Just a shortness of breath, the pain that I had on my left side, the tingling and just the pain that ran across my chest," Briones told us.

And that's why he hasn't turned himself, says his attorney, Abraham Fisch.

"I advised him to stay put," Fisch said.

He says the two have been in contact with authorities and Briones wasn't running. But that's not what authorities say.

"We tried to talk him in, we made contact with him and his attorney but we were never able to pinpoint his location. We believe family members were actively concealing him," Sgt. James Bilinovich said.

Briones was found guilty in July of two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child under age 14. But the conviction was thrown out and a new trial was granted after his attorney discovered the jury considered evidence not admitted at trial. Briones was supposed to be back in court last month but didn't show. Ever since, he's been considered a fugitive.

"He knew we were after him," Bilinovich said.

On Wednesday afternoon, members of the Harris County Sheriff's Gulf Coast Violent Fugitive Task Force arrested him at a relative's house in Spring. He walked into the jail barefoot and silent, and according to his attorney, still with serious health issues.

"Does that preclude him from making a court appearance, just showing up and saying, 'Look I am not a fugitive, I am not running from you?'" we asked Fisch.

"Yes it does because his doctor implicitly told him, and I have medical documentation to prove that, that he wasn't supposed to be in any situation that would cause him stress; he was at risk for stroke," he replied.

The Harris County District Attorney's Office says it's relieved Briones has been arrested. His bond has been forfeited.

He also waits trial for two other charges, including having improper relationship with a jail inmate as well as indecency with a child.

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