Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

May 23, 2013

Wells man arrested on suspicion of second-degree felony sexual assault

Ben Tinsley
Jacksonville Daily Progress

LUFKIN — A 52-year-old Wells man was arrested last week on suspicion of second degree felony sexual assault after he is alleged to have surprised a woman inside her vehicle and touched her inappropriately.

Angelina County Assistant District Attorney Elmer Beckworth declined to comment on the case, as it remained under investigation this week.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit issued by Angelina County Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Billy S. Ball, the incident began on May 16 as the woman was returning to a Woodland Heights Medical Center parking lot after visiting a friend at the hospital.

The woman, on the phone with her daughter at the time,  noticed Gilbert Dean Rash, who she knows, sitting in her car, the affidavit shows.

The woman climbed into the car and attempted to "take control of her vehicle" as Rash forcibly fondled her, the affidavit says.

Staying on the phone and advising her daughter to call 911, the woman is alleged to have extricated himself from Rash's grasp and forced him from the vehicle.

She then drove away with Rash allegedly following in his vehicle.

She reached a residence and exited her vehicle, only to be grabbed by Rash and fondled and touched inappropriately again, according to reports.

Rash stopped what he was doing and left the area when the woman's daughter and another person arrived, the affidavit shows.

Rash was booked into the Angelina County jail with bail set at $15,000. He remain-ed there Wednesday.

If convicted of the second degree felony offense, Rash faces up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.