Deputy Leal was careful not to have sexy time with his victim until she was 17 because, like so many people that go to jail for stuff, there were holes in his understanding of the law. According to the Texas Penal (heh) Code, someone who "induce(s) a child younger than 18 years of age to engage in sexual conduct or a sexual performance,” gets charged with “sexual performance of a child”. OOPS. Deputy Leal lives with a prosecutor—you’d think he would have asked her for some clarification. Sheriff Mark Reynolds (no relation) wasted no time firing Deputy Leal back in October when the Texas Rangers started their investigation.
You may remember that few years back, local attorney Mark Clark was prosecuted right here in Comal County and went to the big house for attempted sexual performance of a child. He didn’t even pull off the groundwork, let alone get to the sex (or, as predators might refer to it, the “bonus round”.)
Former New Braunfels Attorney
Anyway, if you’re Tiffany Leal, what do you do? Keep showing up for work in an office that throws the book at other people accused of sex crimes while pouring your own family’s resources into getting your husband off the hook for the same thing? I mean, if you’re going to stand by your man after he admitted to cheating on you with a teenager that he’d (allegedly) worked on getting into bed over the course of a year, all while your coworkers send other people who are facing identical charges to prison, we’ve got to think that makes for a weird work environment. As a practical matter, it might be time to make nice with the local defense bar and go into private practice.
Mrs Leal has two options if she wants to maintain her integrity and self-respect; 1) Make a very public announcement that she is leaving her husband and is not standing with him or participating in his defense, or 2) Quit the DA’s Office. It’s a tragedy that the former Deputy Leal put her in this position, but she’s in it, and it’s hers to get out of. Pro Tip for Mrs Leal: He’s a Creep Either Way—Go with Option 1
As for District Attorney Jennifer Tharp, whose sense of justice is ####### warped, we don’t expect her to do anything. We’re certain that’s nothing to worry about.