A Hays man in Ellis County Jail on sodomy and rape charges faces additional sexual charges involving two other alleged victims.
On July 26, Ellis County Attorney Tom Drees filed charges of criminal sodomy, aggravated indecent liberties with a child and aggravated sexual battery against Andrew Bayle Claude, 20.
The first two charges are alleged to have occurred Dec. 21 and involved a 15-year-old, while the third charge is alleged to have occurred on March 17 and involved a 16-year-old.
Claude was arrested April 16 for a separate incident alleged to have happened Nov. 17 and 18 with two then-13-year-old girls.
The girls testified in the June preliminary hearing they met Claude at Big Creek Crossing, where they saw a movie and then went to his home nearby.
The girls’ testimony differed from that point, with one testifying Claude had sex with both girls and the other saying they only hung out and talked.
In July, Claude pled not guilty to three counts of aggravated criminal sodomy of a child under 14 and two counts of rape of a child under the age of 14.
Claude’s attorney in the first case, Kip Johnson, filed a motion to withdraw as counsel. He told District Court Chief Judge Glenn Braun on Thursday he was withdrawing not because of anything Claude did, but because his caseload didn’t allow him to take on more appointed cases.
He had removed himself from the list of attorneys available for appointment as defense counsel when the additional charges were filed against Claude, and Cheryl Stewart was appointed.
Johnson said he believed Claude’s charges likely will be resolved at the same time and it was in Claude’s best interest to be represented by the same lawyer in both cases.
Claude told Braun he had no objection to the motion. Braun granted the motion and appointed Stewart as attorney in the first case. She was not present at the hearing.
While in the courtroom, Claude made his first appearance on the new charges, with Johnson sitting in on the proceeding. A preliminary hearing will be scheduled. Claude remains in jail.