Abuse trial starts for ex-Texas prison official

LUBBOCK, Texas — A Lubbock County jury is hearing opening statements Tuesday in the trial of a man accused of sexually molesting boys years ago at a West Texas juvenile prison — a case in which prosecutors say more than a dozen youths were abused by jail administrators.

The case against John Paul Hernandez, 45, may be the last criminal aspect to the sex scandal that embroiled the Texas Youth Commission and its West Texas State School in Pyote. The former principal of the school has pleaded not guilty to 11 counts.

The trial was moved to Lubbock out of Monahans in Ward County at the defense's request.

Authorities believe at least 13 boys were sexually abused at the school, which closed last summer. The scandal upended the commission and led to accusations of a cover-up, reports exposing lax medical care and beatings. Lawmakers eventually ordered an overhaul of the system.  More...    PrisonerPal.com