Roger Valentine

CORSICANA, Texas - Trial proceedings for a former Harrison County jail employee accused of raping an inmate during transport could begin this week.

Roger Valentine is on the criminal trial docket at 8 a.m. Monday in Corsicana, according to the Navarro County District Clerk’s Office.

He also faces a $2 million civil lawsuit in federal court.

Valentine is accused of following a female inmate into a gas station restroom in Navarro County and sexually assaulting her while he was transporting her from a state jail facility in Gatesville to the Harrison County Jail on March 22.

He resigned as a deputy after the inmate complained to authorities, and he was arrested March 27 on a Navarro County warrant for violating the civil rights of a person in custody by engaging in sexual activity. He’s out of jail on a $200,000 bond.

The woman, who is a resident of Dallas County, also has filed a civil rights lawsuit against Valentine, Harrison County and the Sheriff’s Association of Texas in which she is seeking a jury trial and $2 million in damages.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Roy S. Payne has scheduled the civil case for jury selection Aug. 10 in a Marshall federal courtroom.

On Jan. 24, attorney Steven M. Mason of the Flowers Davis Law Firm in Tyler notified the court that he was representing Harrison County against the federal lawsuit.

The woman’s attorney, Michelle Simpson Tuegel, told the News Messenger in July that the case is especially disturbing since Valentine already was under investigation for sexual misconduct when he resigned from the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office, before his employment with Harrison County in 2013.

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