The Woodfill/Pressler story keeps getting uglier

Truly gross.

In 2017, a Houston college student wrote to the family of Paul Pressler, warning them that the former Texas judge and Southern Baptist leader was a pedophile.

“There is a serious issue at hand,” he wrote in an email, adding that Pressler had recently touched him and bragged about being naked with young boys. “I do not think Paul should be around small children or have male assistance of any kind.”

Then, the young man said he was resigning as Pressler’s personal aide, and asked that Pressler’s former law partner, Jared Woodfill, stop paying him to work out of Pressler’s Houston mansion.

“My conscience dictates that I step away,” he wrote. “Please take me off the payroll. If I am to continue receiving paychecks from Woodfill in the continuing weeks, I will send them back.”

The email was filed late last year in Harris County district court as part of a lawsuit that accused Woodfill and others of concealing decades of alleged rape by Pressler. It sheds new light on the role that Woodfill, a prominent anti-LGBTQ+ activist who is running in the Texas House with the backing of Attorney General Ken Paxton, played in providing Pressler with access to potential victims.

In March, The Texas Tribune reported that Woodfill had recently testified under oath that he was made aware of child sexual abuse claims against Pressler in 2004, when the two of them were law partners. Despite that, Woodfill continued to lean on the political connections of Pressler — who did almost no work for their firm but was compensated via a string of young, male personal assistants who worked out of his home. Three have accused Pressler of sexual assault or misconduct.

The newly-unearthed email shows that Woodfill continued to furnish Pressler with young aides until at least 2017 — 13 years after he was first warned that Pressler was a sexual predator, and less than a year after he was made aware of new sexual misconduct allegations.

Woodfill has denied any wrongdoing, and said in a text message this week that he had not read the aide’s letter, and does not know him or another man who said in 2004 that Pressler forcibly undressed and groped him. Pressler, 93, has not been criminally charged.

See here for the previous update. It gets worse from there, so read carefully. I’ve said that Harris County Democrats – hell, all Texas Democrats – should be piling on to this for the 2024 campaign, and that continues to be true. What I’m wondering today is at what point Rep. Lacey Hull, Woodfill’s target in the HD138 primary, will say something about it; she did not comment for this story. I suppose with Ken Paxton loudly backing Woodfill, Hull may be reluctant to paint a bigger target on her own back. I’m just saying, the opportunity is right there. If you don’t want to lose to a guy who’s been steadily supplying a child rapist with a source of victims, you have only so much time to make your case.

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