Telford guard quits job amid child sex abuse investigation

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Allegations of child sexual abuse led a Bowie County man to quit his job as a correctional officer with the Barry Telford Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice last month.

Michael Avis, 31, resigned his position mid-January. He is currently being held in the Bowie County jail following an arrest for indecency with a child by contact, court records show. Bail is set at $100,000.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Avis was babysitting a 5-year-old girl on Christmas Eve while her mother was out shopping. The girl told her mother of the alleged abuse days later and allegedly told staff at the Children’s Advocacy Center in Texarkana that it wasn’t the first time Avis touched her inappropriately on top of her clothing.

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If convicted of indecency with a child by sexual contact, Avis faces two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

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