Former TABC agent gets 180 days in jail for improper photography

12/10/2013 8:55 AM

12/10/2013 8:57 AM

A judge has sentenced a former agent with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to 180 days in jail and five years of probation for taking lewd photographs of a woman with hidden cameras.

Martin Herrmann, 51, who was accused of taking compromising photographs of his 24-year-old stepdaughter, faced three counts of improper photography.

He was fired from his job with the TABC in November 2012 because he refused to cooperate with an investigation of the allegations.

State District Judge Scott Wisch also assessed Herrmann a $500 fine and ordered him to receive sex-offender counseling. Hermann received his sentence last week.

Anthony Simpson, Herrmann’s attorney, declined to comment on the sentence. Martin Purselley, the Tarrant County assistant district attorney who prosecuted the case, said the victim agreed with the sentence.

Beginning in March 2012, Herrmann’s stepdaughter, who lived with him in his north Fort Worth home, found ink pens tucked inside magazines in a bathroom, inside a toy bag in a shower and on top of the dresser in her bedroom, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

In August 2012, she found him installing a motion detection device in her bedroom. He explained that it was for security, the affidavit said.

In November 2012, suspicious about the pens she found and the motion detector, discovered they were surveillance devices. She plugged one of the cameras into a computer and found video recordings of her in the bathroom and bedroom.

She contacted Fort Worth police and on Nov. 21, investigators seized a laptop computer, an e-reader, a pen camera, two desktop computers, a Polaroid tablet and other electronic equipment from Herrmann's home.

After being fired by the TABC on Nov. 28, Herrmann was arrested by Fort Worth police in January.

Herrmann had worked mostly as an enforcement agent in Arlington but was previously in the Midland-Odessa area. He had no record of disciplinary actions or complaints against him since he began working with the commission Oct. 1, 2005, officials said.

This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.

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