The ex-Harris County sheriff’s deputy accused of sexual assault on one woman he pulled over and sexual misconduct with two others will not go on trial Monday as previously scheduled.
Thomas Carl Pierson’s trial has been delayed two weeks, until 9 a.m. Aug. 21, said Harris County Superior Court Clerk Stacy Haralson.
One reason for the delay is that Harris County Sheriff Mike Jolley is traveling with the Miracle Riders on their motorcycle journey to the Arctic Circle. Jolley, who fired Pierson after the allegations came to light last year, reportedly is a witness in the case.
The Miracle Riders left on July 21, are not to return until Aug. 11.
Pierson has been indicted on 12 charges: On Valentine’s Day 2016, he is alleged to have stopped a woman for speeding on Georgia Highway 85 near Victoria Airpark Drive north of Waverly Hall. He wrote her a warning and let her go, but pulled her over again five miles away, where he switched off his cruiser’s camera and forced the woman to give him oral sex, investigators said.
Affidavits filed in support of his arrest warrant say the assault occurred between noon and 2 p.m. in Waverly Hall, where he forced her to perform the act by grabbing her by the head. He also pinched her left nipple, according to the court documents.
In that incident, prosecutors have charged him with aggravated sodomy, sexual battery, false imprisonment and tampering with evidence, and with two counts each of violating his oath as a public officer and sexual assault on a person in custody.
After that case made the news last year, two more women accused Pierson of sexually inappropriate conduct related to traffic stops.
One said that on Oct. 20, 2015, Pierson pulled her over, engaged in improper behavior, then showed up at her Warm Springs Road home the next day, investigators said. For this authorities charged him with stalking, a misdemeanor, and with violating his oath as a public officer, a felony.
The other woman said Pierson behaved inappropriately after pulling her over on Sept. 12, 2015, then followed her to her grandmother’s home on Holland Road “for the purpose of harassing and intimidating” her. For this prosecutors added one additional count each of stalking and violating his oath.
Pierson, who was 38 years old at the time, was fired after the woman in 2016 accused him of sexual assault. Authorities said she drove to another county that same day to report what had happened. Jolley learned of the allegations the next day and asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to investigate.
Pierson first was charged on May 6, 2016, when he went to the Harris County Jail in Hamilton to surrender to GBI agents. A grand jury indicted him July 22.
He had worked for the Harris County Sheriff for 16 months. He previously worked for the Muscogee County Sheriff at the jail here in Columbus.