WAXAHACHIE — Speaking plainly as he addressed the jury Wednesday, Texas Ranger Adam Sweaney described the investigation he conducted into the alleged sexual assault of a minor by former Maypearl Police Chief Kevin Coffey.
Assistant District Attorney Ricky Sipes asked Sweaney how he became aware of the alleged misconduct. Sweaney told the court that he was notified by the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office about questionable text messages from Coffey and proceeded to make contact with the family of the first juvenile that spoke during Tuesday's morning session.
Sweaney told the court the text messages were to a 14-year-old youth where Coffey allegedly talked about stopping her, handcuffing her and taking pictures. In one message Sweaney told the court that Coffey stated he wanted to “place her on the hood of the car” and “smack that ass.”
“It was concerning that, during the course of the investigation, learning that he (Coffey) was coming by her house, having her in the patrol car, looking at records not pertaining to her and talking to her about her boobs and butt,” Sweaney said.
Sweaney also informed the court that during the investigation the Attorney General's Office had set up a sting where they took over accounts belonging to the first juvenile and sent messages to Coffey asking him to pick her up after a party in Cleburne. During the sting, Coffey failed to break the law.
Sweaney explained the type of operation could be difficult because with a suspect that is a trained law enforcement officer “they know what we are looking for and what it takes to build a case.”
Sipes asked Sweaney about the search that was conducted on Coffey’s residence and also his office at the Maypearl Police Department. The Ranger said they did have search warrants for the home and the office, but they wanted to see how cooperative Coffey would be and wanted to see if would consent to a search.
While at the scene, Sweaney told the court that Coffey asked if the search was related to the second juvenile. However, the Ranger also informed the court that, up until that time, the second juvenile was unknown to him, so Sweaney moved the conversation into his vehicle where it could be recorded.
“Is this about the (second juvenile)? She has this outlandish idea that I am going to be her boyfriend," stated Coffey in the recording played before the court. “She has a drug problem (and) a drinking problem. She has been in the psych ward.”
The court then heard as Sweaney asked Coffey if he had been in contact with any minors that would be deemed inappropriate. Coffey assured Sweaney that, apart from his official capacity as a police officer, he had not. The defendant then added, “I bullshit with a lot of people on social media” and "in person." Coffey, in the recording, said he had made off-color jokes and remarks in the presence of minors with or without their parents present.
“I have not broken the law or abused my official capacity,” said Coffey in the recording. “More than happy to cooperate.”
Items seized from Coffey’s residence and office included computers, cell phones, flash drives and a camera. Sweaney said there were “lots” of photos that were on the items. Some of the photos were taken from Facebook accounts without the users' knowledge. Some were work or family photos, and others were sexual in nature. Sweaney also noted that some of those images were taken with or of minors. He added that photos were from people that Coffey knew on a professional level and people involved with cases from the Maypearl Police Department.
Sweaney told the court that there were 106 Skype calls between Coffey and the second juvenile that totaled 21 hours and five minutes. Of those 106 calls, Coffey started the Skype session 21 times. Conversations on Skype ranged from one minute to approximately an hour and a half.
“There was an awful lot of sexual talk between them,” Sweaney said. "He would have her call him master and (say) things he wanted to do to her.”
Sweaney said a third juvenile was also identified from the photos, where the minor showed her breasts and was in the shower. Sweaney said there were 71-77 pictures of the third female and were between the ages of 11-16 years old.
Sipes then asked Sweaney what the common thread with each juvenile was.
“They worked in a restaurant, had family problems or had been molested,” Sweaney said. “They told me that he would be a father or friend to them.”
Sipes played several recording recovered by law enforcement from Coffey’s iPhone five. Sipes also stated that it is unknown to which whom these recordings were sent.
One such recording played stated, “I can because I want you to. My face between your sexy tits. F****** on that desk.”
Sweaney said a fourth possible victim contacted him on July 23, 2015. The victim, who was then 29 years old, stated that Coffey allegedly sexually assaulted her when she was 14 years old while he served as a police officer for the Grandview Police Department.
Sweaney said the victim told him that Coffey befriended her and later assaulted her in a public restroom at a baseball field by “pushing her up against a wall, rubbing and kissing her.”
Sweaney told the court that a man that had purchased a storage shed that had come up for auction contacted him. The man had found a number of items ranging from police equipment to personal items. Some of the items were labeled “Coffey” and, after he had heard of the arrest on the news, decided to contact law enforcement. One of the items included several thumb drives that Sweaney told the court images of one of the victims were found on.
After the State passed the witness, Coffey’s attorney, James Jenkins, asked Sweaney about the recording that was played in court. Jenkins asked if it was possible that the recording was meant for an adult and not for a child, to which Sweaney replied that it was possible for it to be meant for someone else. The recording in question was the one where Coffey stated, “I can because I want you to. My face between your sexy tits. F****** on that desk.”
Jenkins then asked if Sweaney could tell whom the recording was intended for, which the Ranger said that it was not possible to determine that because all of the recordings were all lumped together.
Jenkins then questioned Sweaney about some of the photos of the first juvenile that had been taken while in Coffey’s patrol vehicle. Jenkins said that it is not unusual for photos of children to be taken inside a patrol car during community events such as "National Night Out." He enquired what made these photos stand out. Sweaney replied what made the photos unusual because of when and where they were taken, as he noted the pictures were mostly at or near the juvenile's house.
Jenkins then talked to Sweaney about the recording made in his police vehicle the day of the search of Coffey’s residence. Jenkins asked Sweaney if, while recording someone, was he required to inform him or her of the act and if Coffey felt free to leave the vehicle.
Sweaney replied that he did not have to tell someone he was recording and that Coffey could have left on his own because he was not under arrest. He added that Coffey, who held a certification of a master peace officer, should be well aware of that fact.
Also testifying in court was Coffey's son, Kevin Coffey Jr.; a former councilor with the Ellis County Children’s Advocacy Center, Angela Marquart; and a mother of one of the juveniles. The mother was not the same one who testified during the opening day of the trial and her daughter has not yet testified in the case.
For additional testimony from day two of Texas v Coffey, see Friday's Daily Light or check back to waxahachietx.com Thursday afternoon.
Testimony will continue at 9 a.m. on Thursday in the 443rd Judicial District Court. The Ellis County Courts and Administration Building is located at 109 S. Jackson St. in Waxahachie
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