Former Harris Co. deputy constable indicted for on-duty rape

A grand jury has indicted a former Harris County deputy constable for sexual assault charges.

Deputy Precinct 4 Constable Richard Cornejo is facing two counts of Sexual Assault and one of Official Oppression.

In a July 2018 incident, in which Cornejo on duty in uniform, and driving a marked patrol vehicle, when he found a woman sleeping in a car outside an after-hours club, District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Thursday.

Cornejo found a portion of a marijuana cigarette in a woman's car, then offered to follow her home, where the assault occurred, according to the victim.

"He had a duty to protect the public," Ogg said. "He instead used his badge to commit the crime of rape."

Cornejo, 37, is also accused in a separate rape that occured in May 2018.

He faces up to 20 years in prison for the July 2018 rape, and up to one year for Official Oppression.

He is no longer a deputy constable.

The after-hours club, Palacios, was later closed for numerous drug and liquor violations via an effort spearheaded by the Harris County District Attorney's Office after-hours task force.

Cornejo was arrested Thursday.

Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman released the following statement:

"Our office was contacted by the Houston Police Department on November 5, 2018, about a female victim that had made an outcry of a sexual assault, that had occurred in July 2018, by a deputy employed with our agency. Our Internal Affairs Division launched an investigation and identified the employee as Richard Cornejo.

Cornejo was immediately removed from patrol duties and placed on office duties during the Internal Affairs Investigation. During our internal investigation the employee Richard Cornejo admitted to having consensual sex with the female while on duty. Richard Cornejo was terminated from our office on
November 9, 2018 for department policy violations. Our office has, and will continue to work with the Houston Police Department on this matter."