Marfa man charged with 3rd sexual abuse acount

MARFA – A third victim has come forward to say a 50-year-old Marfa man sexually assaulted him over a period of three years beginning in 2000.

Carl Robert Poenisch Jr. remains in the Hudspeth County Jail in Sierra Blanca on bonds totaling $500,000.

According to an amended criminal complaint filed this week by Texas Ranger Jeffrey J. Vajdos, the lawman conducted an interview on October 1 with victim #3 who stated that Poenisch began the abuse when the victim was 12 years old until the age of 15 years old from 2000 to 2003.

In mid-September, Poenisch was charged with two counts of continuous sexual abuse of a child during many encounters over many years between 2000 and 2009 in Marfa.

A longtime Marfa resident, Poenisch worked for the Texas A&M Forest Service. He served as a Task Force Leader in Fort Stockton and a Regional Fire Coordinator in Alpine before that. He previously worked for the McDonald Observatory and Jeff Davis County volunteer fire departments, according to the Jeff Davis County Mountain Dispatch. He is no longer with the state agency, and was terminated on Monday, September 17, the forest service said. The case came to light when Presidio County Sheriff Danny Dominguez was contacted by the San Bernadino County Sheriff’s Office in California, according to the complaint. In May, California authorities interviewed the now 27-year-old victim, who stated he had been sexually abused by Poenisch for several years and that others may have been abused by Poenisch. Dominguez called Texas Ranger Jeffrey J. Vajdos, and a joint investigation began. The Ranger interviewed the young person, “victim#1,” on September 5th, who confirmed the California sheriff’s information, and provided the name and telephone number of another alleged victim, according to the complaint. “Victim #2” was interviewed by Vajdos on September 7th , and the victim also reported being sexually abused by Poenisch, the complaint states. On September 10, Poenisch was interviewed by Vajdos at the DPS office in Alpine, where Poenisch “initially denied any allegation of sexual assault or sexual contact with a child,” according to the complaint. “During the continued interview and interrogation, Carl Robert Poenisch Jr. confessed to having sexual contact . . . with Victim #1 and Victim #2.” In the amended complaint, Vajdos reports that Poenisch also admitted to harming victim #3. Presidio County Justice of the Peace David Beebe set $250,000 bond on each charge. The charges are first degree felonies, and if found guilty, a defendant faces up to life in prison or for any term of not more than 99 years or less than 5 years.