DALLAS (AP) — Volunteer firefighters south of Dallas have been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a man at their fire station in what a prosecutor described as a "rite of initiation."
Five men ranging in age from 19 to 30 were charged Monday with aggravated sexual assault, while a 23-year-old woman was charged with improper visual recording for using a cellphone to videotape the assault, an arrest warrant affidavit showed.
At least one of the suspects is a lieutenant with the Emergency Services District No. 6 Volunteer Fire Department in Waxahachie. Alec Miller, 28, posted a $75,000 bond and was released Tuesday from the Ellis County jail. According to the department's Facebook page, Miller was named the department's 2014 officer of the year. Online jail records did not indicate an attorney who could respond to the charges on Miller's behalf.
Brittany Leanne Parten is the woman accused of recording the incident. Ellis County Judge Carol Bush said in a statement released to the Waxahachie Daily Light newspaper that Parten is not a firefighter with the department.
Home phone numbers could not be found for Miller or Parten. Calls to the department Tuesday went unanswered, and the Texas Department of Public Safety declined to comment beyond a statement it released announcing the arrests.
The affidavit says that on Jan. 20, the victim was held down at the fire station as the men attempted to sodomize him with a broomstick. One of the men then went to a refrigerator and retrieved a sausage that was used to sexually assault him.
The victim told investigators he threw up in a bathroom after he was released, the affidavit said.
The men "are seen on video and overheard yelling and laughing with excitement," according to the affidavit. The victim reported the matter to authorities last week.
Neither the Texas Rangers, who are leading the investigation, nor the affidavit, give a motive for the assault. But Ellis County District Attorney Patrick Wilson said "it was some sort of rite of initiation" for a new recruit.
Bush, the Ellis County judge, said in a statement to The Associated Press that it's her understanding that other regional fire departments are making sure there are enough firefighters to respond to emergencies in light of the arrests.