UT-Austin says evidence "does not support a finding" that Charles Schwertner violated Title IX by sending lewd texts.
Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, on the Texas Senate floor in 2017.
Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune
Editor's note: This story contains explicit language.
The University of Texas at Austin has closed its investigation into state Sen. Charles Schwertner, finding "available evidence does not support a finding" that the Georgetown Republican was not responsible of sending sexually-explicit text messages to a graduate student.
An executive summary of its investigation, released Tuesday, said Schwertner had not fully cooperated with the investigation, but told officials the lewd messages had been sent by a "third-party."
Lawyers for the senator were not immediately available for comment. University spokespeople have repeatedly declined to comment, citing a need to preserve the integrity of the investigation.
Separately, the university released on Tuesday detailed records related to the inquiry.
The redacted documents, released under open records laws, include an exchange on the professional networking platform LinkedIn, text messages and correspondence between Schwertner's staff and the graduate student. The content of many of the messages is professional, pertaining to the student's interest in health care and policy work.
In late August, months after their correspondence first began, a LinkedIn account bearing Schwertner's name wrote to the student: "Hope you're getting my texts I sent you."
The student responded: "Please stop the inappropriate texts, it is unprofessional."
The university provided printouts of text messages sent from a 512 phone number that say: "Sorry. I really just wanted to fuck you," "This is Charles," "Send a pic?" and "Hello? Want to just use LinkedIn? Or my main cell?"
"It's me. Want me to prove?" the author of the text writes. "And I have more proof of life ;)"
The next messages in the exchange are redacted. The student responded: "Please stop, this is unprofessional. I'm a student interested in learning about Healthcare Policy. These advances are unwanted."
A call placed to the 512 phone number was not answered Tuesday. Schwertner's lawyers previously told The Texas Tribune that Schwertner had subjected his phone to a forensic review that proved the texts in question had not come from that device.
An image of Schwertner's embossed business card -- "State Senator District 5" -- has a hand-scrawled phone number in the bottom right corner that matches the number on the text message exchange.
The university also provided correspondence between the student and members of its Title IX office, and what look like internal notes, headed "Details surrounding the incident."
The notes include responses the student made to questions about the text message and photo: "I felt like he took something away from me because of the text," and "It pissed me off. I worked hard to get here; and he's getting a lot of attention from Pharmacy."
Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.
Read related Tribune coverage
Lawyers for state Sen. Charles Schwertner say forensic review proves explicit texts didn't come from his phone
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|Publication:||The Texas Tribune|
|Date:||Dec 18, 2018|
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