By Sally Beauvais
The Brewster County District Attorney’s office is charging Terlingua resident Jeff Leach with sexual assault. Leach, who owns prominent vacation rental business Basecamp Terlingua, was indicted by a grand jury late last week.
The details of the alleged assault surfaced in a defamation lawsuit that Leach recently brought against a different local woman — Katy Milam — who claims Leach sexually assaulted her in June of 2019. The case was ultimately thrown out by a judge in the 394th District Court in February.
When the defamation suit was still active, several other women came forward accusing Leach of similar offenses. Their experiences are detailed in court documents associated with the now-dismissed case, including the allegation behind the DA’s current criminal charge against Leach.
According to the indictment, the state is accusing Leach of anally penetrating a woman without her consent in 2014. He’s being charged with a second degree felony.
In his now-dismissed defamation case, Leach’s attorney argued that mounting claims by other women alleging sexual misconduct and violence were irrelevant and contained false legal conclusions. At the time, Leach was represented by Rae Leifeste of San Angelo. Marfa Public Radio could not confirm by deadline whether Leifeste will represent Leach in the state’s case against him.
Leach was arrested by the Brewster County Sheriff’s office on February 29. According to jail records, he was released on a $20,000 bond, with the condition that he will not have direct or indirect contact with the alleged victim.
Outgoing Brewster County District Attorney Sandy Wilson also did not return a request for comment.