A Liberty County constable charged with harassment is accused of sending unwanted emails, text and voice messages, and making repeated phone calls from multiple phone numbers to his ex-girlfriend over a five-month period.
Justin Brian Johnston, serving his first term as the elected constable for Liberty County Pct. 1, was arrested Thursday in Montgomery County after an investigation by the Texas Rangers.
An affidavit filed Sept. 6 in the Montgomery County Clerk’s Office, written by Texas Ranger D.L. Leitner, alleges that Johnston, 39, used multiple email accounts and cell phone numbers to circumvent her efforts to block all contact with him.
During a two-hour period on May 21, he reportedly called her 14 times before she blocked his number. The affidavit alleges that in one email he sent a map with a note that read, “I’m 39 minutes from you.”
Three days later, he allegedly sent an email that said, “See you tomorrow, princess,” and seven minutes later, he sent a second email that said, “Actually, I’ll see you tonight, princess.” The complainant told law enforcement she had not agreed to meet with Johnston and was alarmed by his messages.
The next day, May 25, he reportedly sent her a revealing photo of herself and demanded that she answer her phone or respond to his emails. The complainant said she felt threatened that he would send the photo out to embarrass her, the affidavit reads.
During this time, he reportedly used several different phone numbers to contact her, as well as different iCloud email accounts.
On May 30, the complainant reportedly received three audio messages from Johnston via email. In those messages, the affidavit claims he discussed his actions, expressed concern that he would go to jail for harassment, thus ending his career as a constable, and admits to using fake phone numbers to contact her.
On June 8, the complainant sent Johnston and email telling him she did not want any further contact with him. Despite the email, she reportedly received several emails and voice messages in the period of June 8-18.
On June 20, he allegedly contacted her ex-husband through Facebook and suggests the two of them should meet. The next day, the ex-husband responded to the message and asked Johnston to explain what he wanted to discuss, the affidavit claims.
Johnston reportedly replied, “Well, I just spent 2.5 years with your ex-wife. I grew to love your kids. If I were you, I’d want to know about some stuff going on over there,” according to the affidavit. The complainant told law enforcement she felt threatened by Johnston’s communication with her ex-husband.
On June 22, Ranger Leitner visited Johnston at his residence to discuss the complaints against him.
“The defendant said he understood the complainant did not want any further communication with him and he needed to move on. After my meeting with the defendant, communication ceased,” the Ranger wrote.
On Aug. 15, the complainant told law enforcement she joined a social media website.
“She said due to the nature of the site, she received notifications that the defendant was viewing her profile. The defendant viewed her profile 79 times from 12:06 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. The defendant sent three direct messages to the complainant on Aug. 16, 2018,” Leitner wrote in the affidavit.
Over the course of the following month, the complainant received 81 emails, numerous text messages and voice messages, the affidavit claims. In one email with a subject of “This makes me long for you,” he reportedly wrote, “I’ll never quit!”
On Aug. 25, the complainant reportedly noticed that emails were being sent with attachments that appeared to be connected to a tracking application.
“The function of the tracking application is to know when, where, how many times and for how long an email is opened,” Leitner stated.
Six days later, Johnston reportedly sent his ex-girlfriend an email asking her about the person living at an address near her house. This prompted yet another email demanding that he cease communication with her, according to the affidavit.
An hour after the email was sent, Johnston allegedly asked her to talk to him and sent another text message from a phone number he had previously used and three other emails.
A warrant for Johnston’s arrest was issued Sept. 6. He surrendered to law enforcement and has since been released on a $1,500 bond. He is on the jail docket for Sept. 14.
Calls for comment were made to Johnston, but they have gone unanswered at this time.
After his arrest Thursday, Liberty County Attorney Matthew Poston was asked if Johnston’s status as a constable is in jeopardy because of the charge against him.
“At the present time, the arrest alone does not preclude his legal ability to hold office,” said Liberty County Attorney Matthew Poston. “This particular charge is a Class B misdemeanor. It’s been a while since I looked at the law, so I will have to do some checking, but I don’t believe a Class B misdemeanor, even if convicted, will impact his ability to be a constable.”
By Vanesa Brashier, firstname.lastname@example.org