AUSTIN — The state government department responsible for protecting Texas children has recently been caught promoting abusive sexual behavior to minors and is now facing a sexual harassment lawsuit.
On Thursday, as reported by local station KSAT, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Chief of Staff Demetrie Mitchell has resigned as he faces accusations from a former DFPS employee.
The female employee, whom Texas Scorecard is not naming, alleges in the lawsuit that Mitchell began “severe and perverse sexual harassment” toward her in May 2018, shortly after he became her immediate supervisor while serving as director of special investigations and human trafficking.
The suit states Mitchell often made references to the size of his penis, even to a group of employees, but then a few months later—and for the next year and a half—he began specifically making advances toward the woman and others.
According to the lawsuit, instances included Mitchell sending unwanted late-night phone calls and text messages, repeatedly attempting to get her back to his hotel room during a work conference in Dallas (at one point following her to a parking lot and hugging her), calling the woman during a January 2020 work trip and saying he was naked in his hotel room and inviting her to join him, and slapping another female’s buttocks.
The woman began making alternate plans for work trips, such as staying at a different hotel or sharing a room with another female employee.
According to the lawsuit, at least one other female DFPS employee had already sued Mitchell for sexual harassment in the fall of 2019.
The woman in the most recent case left DFPS in March 2020.
“A source familiar with the case said DFPS Commissioner Jamie Masters was made aware of the suit shortly after it was filed but chose not to take any action against Mitchell,” reported KSAT on Thursday.
“We are aware of the lawsuit and have no comment on the specific allegations,” said a DFPS spokesman. “We do want to state clearly that sexual harassment, and discrimination of any kind, is not tolerated at DFPS. Mr. Mitchell has resigned as Chief of Staff.”
The lawsuit comes as the department, overseen by Gov. Greg Abbott, is enflamed in a recent controversy.
Texas Scorecard recently reported that the department, which runs the state’s foster care system and investigates child abuse, hosted a pro-LGBT webpage with a video teaching ideologies that promote hazardous sexual behaviors and experiments on children who pretend to be the opposite biological sex.
The department also posted a link to a donation page for the Human Rights Campaign, a pro-LGBT group that has recently campaigned to keep child mutilation experiments legal in Texas.
DFPS removed the webpage after the content was publicly exposed.
Additionally, DFPS Commissioner Masters recently refused to say that chemically castrating a minor was abuse, referring in part to the high-profile child abuse case of 9-year-old James Younger. James’ parents became entangled in a legal fight after the mother wanted to force James—against his father’s wishes—to take sterilizing drugs and eventually be castrated, and state officials have repeatedly refused to act.
Meanwhile, the current sexual harassment lawsuit against Mitchell is pending.