Ex-Hamilton PD chief accused of sexual abuse
A criminal investigation by the Texas Rangers into Hamilton Chief of Police Anthony (Tony) Wayne Yocham uncovered alleged incidents of sexual abuse to have occurred over a span of eight years — beginning when the female victim was “eight or nine” years old — according to the probable cause affidavit.
Yocham, 56, a Somervell County resident, was arrested Saturday, Sept. 12, and charged with a first-degree felony offense of Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Young Child, according to the Somervell County 18th Judicial District Court document dated Sept. 14, 2020.
Yocham was released from the Johnson County Jail Saturday after posting $500,000 bond.
Hamilton’s mayor, Jim McInnis, and City Administrator Ryan Polster, told the Glen Rose Reporter on Monday that Yocham was relieved of his duties after they learned of the sexual abuse charge. McInnis said that one of Hamilton’s veteran patrol officers, Rene Silva, is “now in charge” of the police staff, which includes eight officers total.
On Tuesday, the city of Hamilton posted on its own Facebook page the following message: "Anthony Yocham is on unpaid administrative leave pending the grand jury determination regarding indictment or further information. Rene Silva is in charge of day to day operations."
“Tony is no longer our city police chief,” McInnis said of Yocham, who is a 1982 graduate of Glen Rose High School. “His status is still to be determined. He was removed as chief of police. He reports to the city (administrator), and they are working on the details. We are making sure we do that right thing. We were told Saturday (Sept. 12) that Tony had been arrested and bailed out. We discussed putting somebody else in charge, because obviously Tony couldn’t be in charge.”
Polster said that Silva has not been named as “interim” chief of police, and the long-term status of that position has yet to be decided.
In Texas, conviction on a charge of Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Young Child (under age 14) carries a minimum prison term of 25 years and a maximum of 99 years to life, with a possible maximum fine of $10,000.
The affidavit states that the child victim was taken to the Paluxy River Children’s Advocacy Center in Granbury for forensic interviews on Sept. 8 and Sept. 11. The child stated during the interviews that the alleged abuse began in September 2012 and continued until Sept. 8, 2020.
The court document states that the investigation began after a complaint from an adult was received by the Somervell County Sheriff’s Office concerning “sexually graphic Instagram messages between a 15-year-old female and Yocham that indicated they were having some type of sexual intercourse.”
Company B Texas Ranger B.J. Hill was requested to assist the Somervell County Sheriff’s Office with the investigation.
In response to an information request from the newspaper, the Somervell County Sheriff’s Office released the following statement on Monday:
“On Tuesday September 8th, 2020, the Somervell County Sheriff’s Office received information regarding the possible sexual assault of a child which had occurred in Somervell County. Upon preliminary investigation, Anthony (Tony) Wayne Yocham was identified as a person of interest in which probable cause was found to support the commission of a criminal offense.
“The Texas Rangers were contacted to review the information gathered. A warrant of arrest was secured by the Rangers from a District Judge who set the bond of $500,000. Mr. Yocham was arrested on the charge of Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Young Child and transported to the Johnson County Jail. Mr. Yocham posted bond and was subsequently released. This is an on-going investigation being conducted by the Texas Rangers.”
Yocham, who had been Hamilton’s chief of police since January 2019 but still resides in Somervell County, unsuccessfully ran for Somervell County sheriff as a challenger to incumbent Alan West in the Republican primary.