- Associated Press - Thursday, June 15, 2017

ABILENE, Texas (AP) - Authorities say a West Texas elected official accused of groping a female sheriff’s deputy has pleaded guilty to public lewdness and must serve two years of probation.

Taylor County Commissioner William Bradley Birchum of Abilene pleaded guilty Thursday to the misdemeanor count. An official oppression charge was dropped against the ex-sheriff’s lieutenant as part of a plea deal.

Birchum, who was elected in 2016, was also fined $1,500, must do 100 hours of community service and is required to take sex harassment prevention and sensitivity classes.

Investigators say a deputy reported unwanted sexual advances by Birchum during a February fundraising event in Buffalo Gap, to benefit volunteer fire departments.

Texas Rangers investigated. Birchum was indicted in March.



Birchum didn’t immediately return a message for comment Thursday.

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