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Ellis County Firefighters Arrested; Sexually Assaulted Man In ‘Initiation Ceremony’

DALLAS — Volunteer firefighters south of Dallas were arrested on charges they held down a man and sexually assaulted him at their fire station, according to a court affidavit released Tuesday.

Five men ranging in age from 19 to 30 were charged with aggravated sexual assault while a 23-year-old woman was charged with improper visual recording for using a cellphone to videotape the assault, the arrest warrant affidavit showed.

Texas Rangers, who are leading the investigation, and the affidavit, do not provide a motive for the assault. But Ellis County District Attorney Patrick Wilson said it appears to be the result of a “rite of initiation” for the victim.

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. He was named the department’s 2014 officer of the year, according to its Facebook page. Online jail records did not indicate an attorney for him.

The men were arrested Monday along with Brittany Leanne Parten, 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.

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 shows that on Jan. 20, the victim was held down at the fire station as the men attempted to penetrate him using a broomstick. They later retrieved a sausage from a refrigerator. 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.

Bush, the Ellis County judge, did not return a call for comment. But in her statement to the Daily Light she said the emergency services district falls under the state’s jurisdiction and that county commissioners do not regulate it.

The county emergency services coordinator, Stephanie Parker, and Sheriff Johnny Brown did not return calls to determine if the department’s response to fire emergencies has been impaired by the arrests. The department’s Facebook page says it has about 25 people on staff. (AP)