Conflicting stories in the progression of a child sex case have led to a 17-year-old girl requesting the Ector County District Attorney’s Office drop the charges against a 22-year-old woman being held Wednesday without bond on the charges.
Sierra Elizabeth Galvan, 2712 E. 10th St., was charged with indecency with a child by sexual contact and sexual performance by a child after the girl’s parents reported a video and pictures to police.
The Odessa American does not identify reported victims of sexual crimes.
Ector County District Attorney Bobby Bland said he would not comment on the specific case but that a victims’ request to drop a case does not require such action by his office.
“In the end we represent the state of Texas and so everything is taken on a case-by-case basis,” Bland said.
Although the 17-year-old said she was kicked out of her house at one point and that police have never spoken to her, the girl’s mother and the Odessa Police Department said those are not true stories. Police have also given a different account of what happened in the pictures and video.
According to an affidavit, Galvan videotaped the girl, then 16, stripping while Galvan, then 21, said things such as “I think you look fantastic,” “strip for me,” and “get naked for me.” Police also reported finding a picture of Galvan and the girl in a sexually suggestive pose together.
Galvan was originally arrested Feb. 9 and was released Feb. 10 on a $25,000 bond. She was then arrested again Tuesday in court after a hearing to revoke her bond.
The girl said because of a court order for Galvan to stay away from the supposed victim, she has had to keep away from Galvan so that Galvan does not get in trouble.
But the defense attorney for Galvan, Michael McLeaish, said when the girl didn’t stay away, Galvan’s bond was revoked. It was the girl’s parents who reported the girl saw Galvan, McLeaish said.
“My client is in jail as a result of her failure to obey a court order to stay away from the victim. And the difficulty we’re seeing is that the alleged victim won’t stay away from my client,” McLeaish said. “I think the jailing of this 21-year-old female is very harsh and very uncalled for.”
McLeaish said it’s obvious the girl is not in fear for her mental or physical health with regards to Galvan because she is trying to see Galvan.
The girl said she’s a mature 17-year-old and people should believe her story.
“I’m the quote-unquote victim and I know what really happened,” she said. “Everybody else is just going off of opinion and what they’ve heard. They weren’t there.”
The 17-year-old girl said not only were the two not involved together sexually, but they were not naked in the video or picture and were messing around as friends.
The girl said she was kicked out of her mother’s house in October that and shortly after that her mother discovered pictures and videos depicting her in her underwear and dancing. The girl said the video is not of a sexual nature, but said she believes her mom filed the report because the girl is a lesbian.
“(Galvan) did nothing wrong. We were just friends,” the girl said. “Nobody’s asked my side of the story at all.”
However, the girl’s mother said the girl was never kicked out of the house and was actually in the house at the time of the mother’s interview with the Odessa American. The mother also denied filing the report on the basis of her daughter’s sexual orientation, but twice hung up when pressed for more information.
Shari Johnson, the president of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, said it’s a bizarre story and that at the least the parents and child could benefit from counseling.
But she also said she believes sexual orientation has some effect on the perception of any crime.
“Once a person gets labeled homosexual, gay, lesbian, all bets are off,” Johnson said. “Public opinion changes.”
Since the beginning of the police investigation and even after Galvan was indicted March 27, the girl said neither police nor the District Attorney’s Office had asked for her side of the story.
However, Cpl. Sherrie Carruth said police spoke with her in December. Bland would not comment on whether anyone in his office has spoken with the girl.
Judge John Smith, of the 161st District Court, declined to comment on his ruling to revoke the bond.
Bland said it was his understanding that the judge determined Galvan violated the terms of her release but would not comment further on the bond revocation.
Galvan is a former employee of the District Attorney’s Office and the 17-year-old claimed the prosecutor in the case does not like Galvan, which is another reason the case will not be dropped.
Bland said that has no effect on the case.
“Every defendant we prosecute is treated fairly,” Bland said.