The former chief of staff to an East Texas state representative and campaign treasurer to a state house candidate was arrested on charges he solicited a minor, according to the Tyler Morning Telegraph.
Judd Harrison Quarles of Tyler was booked on Friday in Smith County jail following a tip by Dallas Police Department Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
The arrest affidavit reveals he had multiple discussions with a minor on a hook up website. The 14-year-old minor, who was not named because of the investigation, told authorities she registered as 18, the minimum age requirement to register an account.
The girl said, however, she quickly told Quarles her age, but he continued soliciting her for sex and sent her a photo of a man in his underwear, presumably Quarles.
Before joining the faculty of Tyler Junior College, where he taught economics and government he served as chief of staff to Rep. Matt Schaefer, R-Tyler.
He also served as campaign treasurer for current Republican state house candidate and former Land Commissioner candidate David Watts.
TJC was notified of the arrest and immediately suspended Quarles initially with pay, per college policy.
Watts replaced Quarles with a new treasurer.
“I communicated with Judd immediately and ended his service as Treasurer for my campaign. A new Treasurer was appointed as of Saturday morning. We are blessed with a legal system where all are innocent until proven guilty, and I have confidence our legal system will discern the truth in this matter,” Watts said in a statement.
“It is difficult to comprehend,” Schaefer said in a statement. “Judd was a talented, hard-working former member of my staff. A friend.”
Schaefer ousted longtime Republican Rep. Leo Berman in a contentious 2012 primary and ran unopposed in the general election.
This past legislative session Schaefer cosponsored numerous anti-LGBT bills including a bill that would have barred counties from issuing licenses to same-sex couples.
After the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in the Obergefell decision Schaefer said the decision “tramples the Constitution” in a statement.
Schaefer was one of 19 Republicans who voted against Speaker Joe Straus, a moderate Republican from San Antonio deemed too liberal by his opponents.
Backers of Straus’ opponent, outgoing Rep. Scott Turner, R-Frisco, included right-wing advocacy groups like Empower Texans, Eagle Forum and others. Many of those groups previously endorsed Schaefer and have also endorsed Watts in the open house seat race.