Sentencing/Post Conviction

Ex-judge who posed as 'Don Tequila' sentenced to 6 years in online revenge case

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A former judge in Galveston County, Texas, has been sentenced to six years in prison for posting fake ads for sex using photos and phone numbers of two former girlfriends.

Christopher Dupuy had used the name “Don Tequila” to buy the ads. He was sentenced on Wednesday for two counts of online impersonation after jurors found guilt earlier in the day, report the Houston Chronicle and the Galveston County Daily News.

Dupuy was sentenced to six years in prison on each count, to run concurrently.

The ads, posted in late 2014, had included language like “very fetish friendly,” according to the Houston Press.

It’s not Dupuy’s first run-in with the law.

Dupuy was elected to the bench in 2010 when he ran against the judge handling his divorce case, according to prior coverage by the Houston Chronicle. He resigned in 2013 after he was charged with lying under oath and abuse of office. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges in that case and was sentenced to two years of deferred adjudication.

Christopher Dupuy. Photo courtesy of the Galveston County Jail.

The State Commission on Judicial Conduct reprimanded Dupuy in 2014, saying he bullied and retaliated against four attorneys who filed complaints against him, according to another Houston Chronicle story. The commission also said Dupuy lied under oath about owning a silencer during child custody hearings with his ex-wife, and harassed and bullied county officials, according to the Houston Press.

Dupuy had been jailed for 11 months after the online impersonation charges were filed in 2015. He was released after a Galveston County judge ruled in 2016 that the online impersonation statute was unconstitutionally overbroad.

The lawyer who sprung Dupuy from jail, Mark Bennett, had argued that using another person’s persona is a long-held tradition. He pointed to comedians such as Chevy Chase, who played President Gerald Ford on Saturday Night Live. When someone uses another person’s identity to cause harm, the proper remedy is a defamation suit, he said.

A Texas appeals court reversed in August 2017, citing an appeals court decision reached a few months after the trial judge ruled. The prior appellate decision, Stubbs v. State, had held that the statute “was not facially overbroad.”

Dupuy had resigned his law license in January 2017. The online harassment case was reopened against Dupuy a year later.

Police found Dupuy hiding in an attic when they arrested him in August 2018 after receiving a complaint from another woman. She alleged that Dupuy had threatened to kill her and called her 200 times in one night. That case is pending.

Prosecutor Adam Poole told the Houston Chronicle that the conviction closes another chapter in the saga.

“It’s just been a really long time in coming, but hopefully he is done with Galveston County now,” Poole said.

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