Smith County constable accused of soliciting sex found guilty of official oppression
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Day two of Constable Joshua Black’s trial ended with a verdict. Black has been found guilty of official oppression. His bond has been raised to $200,000 The punishment phase of the trial will take place on Friday at 9 a.m.
Today’s trial began with the continued cross-examination of a woman who claims the Smith County constable abused his position of power in an attempt to solicit sex.
The woman said she initially approached Black for help as he runs a service outside his duties as a constable which provides supervised visitation for parents and their children. The woman said she had hoped that by employing the services of someone in law enforcement that her ex-husband would be more cooperative in coordinating visits with their child.
The cross-examination of the woman by both the defense and prosecution repeated testimony from yesterday’s court session, including the woman re-affirming that Black solicited her for sex in exchange for being able to see her daughter.
Multiple text messages were again presented as evidence, including one wherein Black expressed frustration that the woman did not respond to a message he sent asking her what kind of condoms she purchased. Black apparently reminded the woman in their text message exchanges that if she did not pay him for his services with cash, she would have to pay with sex. This was not specifically stated but rather implied by Black’s apparent use of a peach emoji.
During the prosecution’s cross-examination, the woman, who had previously worked as an exotic dancer, said Black was persistent in asking her for photographs of herself.
New to the witness stand on Thursday was Sgt. Justin Hall with the Smith County Sheriff’s Department’s Criminal Investigation Division. Hall, who has experience doing forensic analysis of and extracting cell phone data, gave a report of what he found on Black’s phone. The analysis was done using software known as Cellbrite, which extracts information and compiles a report. Hall said that even deleted text messages can often be recovered from a phone using this software. Testimony on Wednesday from Texas Ranger Nick Castle indicated that Black had previously deleted text messages exchanged with the woman before his phone was analyzed by Hall.
Hall said he did not download anything from the woman’s phone and said that Black was fully cooperative and provided all necessary passwords to access his phone.
The prosecution then called a new witness to the stand, a woman who had previously used Black’s supervision services. She said she and Black would communicate via text message. She said that Black would refer to Constable Precinct 2 as a “whore house.”
One of the state’s evidence exhibits was a text message from Black to the woman that said “The badge will get the p**** and the p**** will get your badge.”
Additional text messages from Black are shown as evidence by the prosecution, noting that on multiple occasions with prospective clients, Black will note that he is a constable before indicating his association as owner of Supervised Visitation Services.
During the afternoon portion of Thursday’s session, the woman was called back to the stand and testified that she and Black had dated for a period of time before she broke off the relationship. However, she said Black continued to attempt to contact her.
The prosecution then called a new witness to the stand to testify. This woman also employed Black for his visitation supervision services. She said that even after she moved to Wisconsin, Black continued to try and pursue a relationship with her, though she always declined. She said she came to testify to “see (Black) gets justice.”
The state called a third witness who testified that she and Black dated in 2016, however she broke off the relationship after she discovered he was married. The witness said Black continued to pursue her for a relationship until 2019.
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