The Starr County Special Crimes Unit arrested a city of Roma employee on Wednesday after he allegedly took another employee’s private photographs without her consent.
Investigators charged Erbey Gonzalez, 55, of invasive visual recording after a woman who also works with the city said he accessed and stole private, revealing photos from her phone, according to a probable cause affidavit.
The woman said that on July 29, around 10 a.m. she handed her cellphone to Gonzalez so that he could place a screen protector on it.
At one point, Gonzalez allegedly took her phone to the back of the building claiming there was poor reception in the office.
When he returned he handed the phone back to her but then left the building with the phone for other repairs.
The following day, while doing work on her laptop, the woman accessed her text messages through the laptop and noticed a recently deleted conversation between her phone and Gonzalez’s phone.
In that conversation, it showed that seven photos had been sent from her phone to Gonzalez’s phone number.
Security surveillance video later showed that on the day Gonzalez was helping her with the phone, she handed the phone to him at 10:12 a.m. A screenshot of her computer showed that the photos were sent at 10:14 a.m.
Surveillance also showed that Gonzalez returned the phone to her for a short period at 10:15 a.m. before taking it away for the repairs. It was during this short time period that she remembered the photos and deleted them but it’s alleged that Gonzalez had already sent them to his phone by that point.
On Sept. 10, law enforcement executed a search warrant on his phone which they picked up from him at the Roma City Hall.
Shortly after that, Gonzalez asked to meet with the woman and was allowed to do so but Roma City Manager Crisanto Salinas insisted that other people be present for that meeting, according to the probable cause affidavit.
In the presence of that group, which included the woman, the city manager, and two other individuals, Gonzalez apologized to her several times and said that he didn’t mean anything bad by it.
The people who were at that meeting corroborated what Gonzalez said to investigators and added that he had asked the woman to help him out by stopping the investigation or by not filing charges.
Following his arrest on Wednesday, Justice of the Peace Roel “Role” Valadez set a $10,000.00 personal recognizance bond and Gonzalez was released that same day.