Under Texas law, assault can take many forms. The recent indictment of a Houston man for assault based on allegations that he slipped an abortion-inducing medication into his wife’s drink offers an example how far the law can reach.
According to court records, the man and woman had been married but were separated and struggling to avoid a divorce when the woman found out she was pregnant.
When she told her husband, he began lecturing her on proper hydration and offering glasses of water. The woman said that the water appeared to be cloudy, but the defendant said that the cloudiness was caused by dirty pipes or a dirty glass.
The wife became suspicious of her husband’s behavior and refused all further drinks. She then began to search the house, and she found packaging for misoprostol, a drug used to induce an abortion.
The woman told authorities that her husband had repeatedly expressed his dissatisfaction with the news of the pregnancy. The baby was born prematurely but was otherwise healthy.
The defendant was indicted on two felony accounts – assaulting a pregnant woman and attempting to induce an abortion. The defendant is free after posting a $30,000 bond.
One definition of assault under Texas law is the intentional, knowing or reckless infliction of bodily injury on another. This definition is broad enough that it can include poisoning as well as physical beatings.
Anyone facing assault charges may wish to review the case with an experienced criminal defense attorney for an assessment of the evidence, suggested defense strategies, and when appropriate, assistance in negotiating an acceptable plea agreement.