Joseph William Austin, of Woodward, entered a plea on Thursday on charges of sexual exploitation by a counselor or therapist. The charges stem from multiple incidents that occurred between July and October of 2016 between him and a client at Hope Wellness Center, where he was an SLC Residential Coordinator at the time.
According to the criminal complaint that was filed by the Woodward Police Department with the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department on May 30, some of Austin’s duties were to “monitor all clients and meet with them at least on a weekly basis to assist them in achieving their goals and also to provide behavior support to those having difficulty so that they can maintain appropriate social interaction with others.
The complaint states that the client advised that she and Austin started a consensual relationship that included “flirting, inappropriate conversations… and send and receiving inappropriate texts and naked pictures.” On three occasions the relationship turned physical and sexual in nature.
Austin entered a plea on Friday morning on one of his four counts of sexual exploitation of by counselor or therapist and sentencing has been set for Nov. 3 at 9 a.m. at the Dallas County Courthouse.