Former Galveston County judge convicted of two counts of online impersonation
Galveston County District Attorney
   
 
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GALVESTON, Texas – On Wednesday, January 9, 2019, a Galveston County jury convicted a former Galveston County judge of two counts of online impersonation. The Court then sentenced to him to 6 years in prison on both charges.

 

The case against former attorney and judge Christopher Dupuy began after two advertisements for prostitution were posted on the web site backpage.com. Both advertisements contained the pictures and contact information of two women who were formally in a relationship with Dupuy. In the second victim’s case, Dupuy used a nude photo that the victim shared with him during the relationship.

 

Evidence showed that the ads were placed using fake information, paid with an untraceable pre-paid credit card, and that the Defendant used software called a virtual private network to mask his IP address that prevented it from being traced.  Law enforcement was able to track his IP address, because on one occasion in which Dupuy forgot to use the virtual private network when accessing his email account. That IP address returned to Christopher Dupuy’s apartment in League City.

 

Police then executed a search warrant at Dupuy’s residence and several devices were recovered and analyzed. At trial prosecutors presented logs which proved that a virtual private network was used on his computer on the date of the offense just hours before the ads were posted. There were also records of web searches on a phone showing how he researched each woman approximately one week before posting the ads. There were searches for specific phrases that would later become the headlines for each of the ads. 

 

After the presentation of this evidence, the jury returned a verdict of guilty. Visiting Judge Vanessa Velasquez then held a hearing to determine Dupuy’s punishment.

 

During the hearing, prosecutors showed Dupuy’s prior convictions for perjury, abuse of official capacity, and criminal contempt, all of which were committed while Dupuy was the judge of County Court at Law Number 3. It was also shown that Dupuy judicially confessed to committing official oppression against attorney Lori Laird.

 

The Court heard testimony from Dupuy’s former wife and a Harris County woman who told the judge that Dupuy had stalked them. Dupuy’s former wife also testified that she found listening devices in her home and that there was a long history of emotional abuse. She also testified about the child custody battle between the two, which resulted in Dupuy losing custody of his children.

 

The judge also heard testimony that when the police executed the search warrant in Dupuy’s home, officers found a bag containing a firearm with a laser sight and silencer, ammunition, a knife, beanie cap, gloves, a taser, multiple hand restraints, a kit to start fires and multiple disposable pre-paid cell phones, known by law enforcement as “burner phones.”

 

Judge Velasquez sentenced Dupuy to six years in prison on both charges; these sentences will run concurrently.

 

Dupuy was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Adam Poole and Assistant District Attorney Matt Shawhan in the 405th District Court, with visting Judge Vanessa Velasquez presiding. The District Attorney’s Office would like to thank Harris County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Scott Hardcastle and Texas Department of Public Safety Ranger Joe Haralson for their investigation.

 

 

Patrick H. Gurski

Assistant Criminal District Attorney

Galveston County Criminal District Attorney’s Office

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