A Travis County grand jury has declined to indict judicial candidate Chantal Eldridge, who had faced allegations from a man who claimed she had sex with him back in 2006 when he was 16 and a foreign exchange student living in her home. Eldridge denied the allegations, saying they were politically motivated.
Special prosecutor Rusty Hardin, who handled the investigation and grand jury presentation, said in a text message that the grand jury on Friday afternoon no-billed Eldridge, a Democrat running for Travis County’s 331st District Court.
Allison Wetzel, an attorney who represented the man who accused Eldridge, didn’t return a call seeking comment. Neither did Jackie Wood, who represented Eldridge in the investigation.
The sexual misconduct allegations stemmed from 2006 when the student stayed in her home as a 16-year-old foreign exchange student. He first made his allegations in 2006.
At the time, police investigated the allegation but dropped the investigation partly because the accuser, now 27, returned to his home in Brazil, the Austin American-Statesman reported in March. His claims resurfaced last spring shortly before Eldridge defeated incumbent David Crain in the Democratic primary. Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore said the accuser asked her to reopen the case and he pledged to cooperate. Hardin was appointed as attorney pro tem after Moore recused herself.
She’s unopposed in the November general election, which means she’ll take the bench in 2019.
Mary Alice Salmon contributed to this story.