Sexual Abuse Charges At Texas Youth Prison

Two former West Texas juvenile prison employees were indicted Tuesday on charges of sexually abusing teenage inmates — the most serious accusations to emerge from a youth prison scandal.

John Paul Hernandez was indicted on 11 charges related to sexual contact he had with students at the West Texas State School. Ray E. Brookins was indicted on one count each of having improper sexual activity with a person in custody and having an improper relationship between a student and educator.

Texas Rangers arrested the men Tuesday. Bail was set at $600,000 for Hernandez and $100,000 for Brookins.

Meanwhile, a teacher at the state school filed a petition to oust a prosecutor criticized for not pursuing allegations of rampant sexual abuse at the youth prison.

The prosecutor filed his own petition to remove a county attorney who is among his critics in a scandal that has seen the state's juvenile detention system overhauled.

Patsy Elkins, a teacher at the school, filed the petition in Pecos to remove Ward County District Attorney Randall W. Reynolds on grounds of incompetence and official misconduct.

About 15 minutes later, Reynolds filed his petition in Monahans to remove Ward County Attorney Kevin Acker. Reynolds alleges Acker overstepped his legal authority by demanding that Reynolds resign or be forced from office.

Reynolds has been under fire since the allegations about the West Texas State School were made public earlier this year. According to an Associated Press analysis of state court filings, he declined to prosecute most cases about the school that were sent to his office in 2005 and 2006.

Reynolds issued a news release saying he found it ironic that the state attorney general's office had apparently assigned five to 10 attorneys and staff to the grand jury investigation, while he had been criticized "as a part-time country DA ... for not doing it all in the time the media deemed appropriate."

Acker said Reynolds' petition against him was retaliation.

"I gave him a chance to resign," Acker said.

Elkins didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.