Former Texas deputy constable accused of raping woman while on duty, in uniform

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - A former Harris County deputy constable has been indicted on sexual assault and official oppression charges.

KIAH learned from the Harris County District Attorney’s Office former deputy constable Richard Cornejo, 37, first came in contact with his alleged victim, a woman who was sleeping in her car outside the Palacio night club in July 2018.

However, he appeared in probable cause court Thursday.

According to investigators,  Cornejo was on duty, in uniform and driving a marked patrol vehicle when he came across the woman sleeping in her car and then found a marijuana cigarette in the vehicle. The victim claims he then offered to follow her home and that’s where the sexual assault occurred.

A statement released by precinct four constable Mark Herman says their office was contacted by the Houston Police Department in November 2018 about a woman coming forward with these allegations. They said Cornejo was immediately removed from patrol duties and placed on office duties during their internal 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," the Precinct 4 statement said.

Some details we learned as he appeared in probable cause court: he lives with his wife and four kids and he’s been working as a pipe fitter since he was fired from the constable’s office.

As for the charges, he’s facing up to 20 years in prison for the rape and up to a year for the official oppression.

“He had a duty to protect the public. He instead used his badge to commit the crime of rape,” District Attorney Kim Ogg said.