On Monday, September 21, officers with the Zavalla Police Department arrested Robert Eugene Peden, 37, of Zavalla for criminal trespass of a habitation, 2 counts of indecency with a child, and one count of aggravated sexual assault of a child.

According to a press release from the Zavalla PD, on September 7 an investigation was launched into allegations of sexual abuse where Robert Peden was the suspect and the victim was a child under the age of 14. During the investigation and witness statements it was found that Robert had allegedly touched the victim inappropriately in a sexual manner on several occasions over the past few months.

The report goes on to say that on September 21 deputies with the Angelina County Sheriff’s Office and Chief Chris Wade with the Zavalla Police Department were dispatched to a residence in the 22000 block of Hwy 69 south in the City of Zavalla in reference to a criminal trespass in progress. Deputies arrived on scene and the suspect who was identified as Robert Peden evaded authorities through a wooded area on foot.

An investigation was started and it was found that Peden had been outside the residence and attempted to make contact with the victim of the sexual assault case outside of the residence. The victim ran back into the house and Peden entered the house without consent and attempted to conceal himself in the utility room. The father of the victim and homeowner confronted the suspect inside the house and a physical altercation ensued. After the altercation, Peden went outside and concealed himself in a wooded area until officers arrived. Later on that same day, Chief Wade and officers with the Zavalla Police Department located Peden at a business inside the City of Zavalla and he was placed into custody and transported to the Angelina County Jail.

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