TYLER — A Smith County constable charged with prostitution and official oppression is accused of offering to provide a woman with supervised visitation services in exchange for sexual favors.
Joshua Black, who has served as Pct. 2 constable since 2019 and won election to the office Tuesday, was indicted by a grand jury Thursday.
The Texas Rangers arrested Black, 38, of Flint, on Friday on both charges. He was later released from the Smith County Jail on bonds totaling $2,000.
Records show both incidents occurred July 31.
Court documents in connection with Black’s indictment on the prostitution charge state the grand jury found that “Joshua Black did then and there knowingly offer a fee to another person ... for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct with (person).”
And documents in connection with the official oppression indictment found the constable subjected the woman to mistreatment that Black knew was unlawful “by offering to provide supervised visitation services to (her) in exchange for engaging in sexual contact with (the woman).”
Both offenses in Black’s cases are listed as Class A misdemeanors. Based on Texas Commission on Law Enforcement policy, Black can retain his TCOLE license while under indictment.
Gretchen Grigsby, director of government relations at the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, said a person with a TCOLE license who is charged with misdemeanor offenses will not face suspension or other actions against his license until the court process has run its course either by conviction or acquittal.
According to the Texas Penal Code, oppression is defined as a public servant intentionally subjecting another to mistreatment, denies or impedes another in their rights, privilege, power or immunity, or subjects another to sexual harassment.
In a statement Friday afternoon, Smith County officials said a comment cannot be made on pending litigation.
“The laws of the state of Texas apply equally to every person, even when they are an elected official,” the county statement read. “The Smith County Commissioners Court does not have the authority to remove an elected official from office, even one under indictment. If an elected official position becomes vacant, the Commissioners Court has the authority to appoint an official to serve until an election can be held.”
The statement added that other questions regarding the matter should be referred to the Texas Rangers, the law enforcement agency investigating the case.
Black was elected Tuesday to a four-year term as Pct. 2 constable. He was appointed in 2019 to fill the seat vacated by Andy Dunklin, who became justice of the peace. He’s worked at the constable’s office as a deputy more than four years, according to the county.
Black previously worked at the Smith County Sheriff’s Office, including time in the jail from 2002 to 2007 and on patrol from 2007 to 2014.