Fired Fort Worth police officer accused of giving alcohol to teens

Posted Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
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FORT WORTH -- A Fort Worth police officer has been fired over allegations that he provided alcohol to two underage girls, then made sexual advances toward one of the teens, according to civil service documents.

Officer Robert V. Ellis, who had been with the department since 2001, was indefinitely suspended effective Nov. 2, according to a disciplinary letter released this week by the city in response to an open records request filed by the Star-Telegram.

Ellis, 39, has appealed his termination, according to Craig Driskell, his attorney with the Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas.

"We'll have to wait to see how the case plays out," Driskell said. "He's innocent until proven guilty."

According to the letter, Ellis is accused of providing alcohol to a former relative, 16, and the girl's 17-year-old friend on May 19 after allowing the teens to spend the night at his Benbrook home.

Ellis, the department alleges, became intoxicated and during the early hours of May 20 awoke the 17-year-old and asked her to speak with him in the kitchen. There, he put his arm around her and tried to kiss her, the letter states.

The teen told investigators that she pushed Ellis away and told him to stop. She said Ellis then told her to go in his room and get in bed with him. The teen refused, returned to the room she was sharing with her friend, and climbed into bed, the documents state.

A few minute later, Ellis returned to the bedroom and started rubbing the 17-year-old's back and tried to kiss her, she told investigators. She told Ellis to get out and he left the room, the letter states.

The teen left the house early and later filed a report with the Benbrook Police Department, which allowed the Fort Worth Police Department's special investigation unit to conduct the criminal investigation into the matter.

As a result of that investigation, Ellis was charged in July with purchasing/furnishing alcohol to a minor, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine. The criminal case is still pending, court records show.

In an interview with internal affairs investigators, Ellis admitted being drunk and providing alcohol to the two teens.

"Officer R.V. Ellis said he could not remember much after becoming intoxicated, but he did not believe he touched or propositioned" the 17-year-old, the letter states.

Asked if it was possible he had entered the teen's room, touched and propositioned her, "Ellis said it was possible, he just didn't remember doing it," the letter adds.

The letter states Ellis's alleged actions broke laws and brought justified unfavorable criticism upon himself and the department.

"Officer R.V. Ellis accepted the responsibility of supervising two teenage girls...," states the letter, signed by Chief Jeff Halstead. "Officer R.V. Ellis instead chose to provide/furnish them with an alcoholic beverage, got drunk himself, and then tried to talk one of them into his bed. Officer R.V. Ellis took an oath to enforce Texas State Law, serve society, safeguard lives, protect the innocent, the weak and the peaceful, and keep his private life unsullied as an example to all. Officer R.V. Ellis did none of these."

Deanna Boyd, (817) 390-7655

Twitter: @deannaboyd

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