By BRAD KELLAR
Celeste Chief of Police Roger Eugene Mueller III pleaded not guilty Tuesday to two counts of alleged indecency with a child by sexual contact.
Mueller was arraigned during a Tuesday afternoon hearing in the 354th District Court. Judge Richard A. Beacom accepted the pleas and, as Mueller’s defense attorney filed a motion for an expedited trial in the case, Beacom scheduled a tentative trial date for November 4, with a pretrial hearing on October 15.
Mueller is being held in custody at the Kaufman County Jail. Bond was set at $75,000 on each charge.
In a separate hearing Tuesday, Beacom declined to take action to lower the bonds.
The Hunt County grand jury returned sealed indictments against Mueller Friday, in a case investigated by the Texas Rangers.
Mueller was taken into custody Friday on arrest warrants connected to the indictments. The indictments were unsealed Monday afternoon.
The indictments allege Mueller touched the breast(s) of a girl of less than 17 years of age on June 1, 2012 and on May 30 of this year.
The indictments were filed as second degree felonies, each punishable upon conviction by a maximum sentence of from two to 20 years in prison and an optional fine of up to $10,000.
As of the time of his arrest, Mueller was employed as the Chief of Police in Celeste, a town of approximately 800 people.
The Celeste Police Department consists of Mueller, one part-time officer and one reserve officer.
Mueller was also at one time employed as a security officer at the Hunt County Courthouse.