On Wednesday, February 7, 2024, 12NewsNow reported that the trial date for Tom Gillam III, a justice of the peace for Precinct Eight in Jefferson County, Texas, had been delayed. Gillam is accused of official oppression related to sexual harassment of a female employee.

The trial had originally been scheduled to begin on March 6, 2024. However, during a pre-trial hearing on Wednesday, the special prosecutor requested that the trial date be pushed back. The prosecutor, Jennifer Bergman, said prosecutors intend to seek a new indictment against Gillam that will include some unspecified statutory language.

Both the defense attorney, Layne Walker, and the prosecutor asked for more time to prepare for the case. Walker mentioned he would like to review the new indictment before proceeding to determine if he is ready for trial. Gillam remains free on $10,000 bond but has been suspended without pay from his position as justice of the peace since September 2023. The crime is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

The Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office recused itself from the case due to a conflict of interest. As a result, the Liberty County District Attorney’s Office was appointed as a special prosecutor. In the fall of 2022, the Texas Rangers began investigating an allegation of official oppression related to sexual harassment against Gillam, leading to the original indictment in August 2023. The original indictment alleges Gillam subjected a female employee to unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature, despite knowing the behavior was unwelcome.

Gillam’s history includes past accusations. Gillam was accused of sexual assault by a 16-year-old girl in 2011 but was not charged or sent to trial because the grand jury found insufficient evidence. In 2017, he was involved in a shooting incident in Houston where he was wounded after a person approached his car with a gun. Gillam defended himself by returning fire, but it was unclear if he hit the person. He was later released from the hospital.

Gillam has served as justice of the peace for Precinct Eight for nearly 20 years. His office covers parts of Port Arthur, Port Acres and Sabine Pass in Jefferson County.



Source: 12NewsNow