LIBERTY COUNTY — The Cleveland Independent School District is dealing with yet another sexual assault scandal, and this one has connections that go all the way to the top. So far, three people have been arrested, charged in connection with the circumstances surrounding the alleged sexual assault of a 19-year-old woman. Two of them are the son and daughter of CISD Board President Lloyd Lewis. What’s worse, the victim of the alleged assault claims it happened at Lewis’ house. Lewis and his wife were out of town at the time, authorities said.
According to Captain Rex Evans of the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, 20-year-old Kyle Lee Lewis, 17-year-old Rachel Leigh Lewis of Cleveland, 18-year-old Shelby Lofton of Houston and 33-year-old Larry Edward Tullos, Jr. have been charged with crimes as investigators continue to search for answers.
The trouble began on November 9 when Kyle and Rachel Lewis had several friends over, including the victim, to the home where they live with their parents on CR 3180 just outside Cleveland City Limits. No one is disputing those facts. How the victim arrived, who exactly was present, and what happened that sent the victim running to a stranger’s house in her underwear are where the stories differ.
The 911 tapes are disturbing by anyone’s standards. The first call to Liberty County dispatch was answered at 3:14 a.m. and was placed by a neighbor of the Lewis family. The man tells the call taker, “I just had a young lady come to my door, saying she’s been raped.”
“Is she still there now, sir?” the call taker asks.
The neighbor says the victim told him she was raped at a nearby house and ran to his. The call taker then asks if the victim will speak to her. He can be heard asking the victim, before a raspy weak voice, possibly from crying or screaming, comes on the line. She says “Hello” to the call taker and can be heard crying as the call taker asks who raped her. The victim is trying to speak, but crying so hard the call taker cannot understand her.
When the call taker asks the victim the whereabouts of the people who raped her, the victim sounds unable to answer and the neighbor begins trying to help, asking, “Where is the people that hurt you?” Sounding on the verge of hysteria again, the victim says, “I don’t know.” When asked if they live next door, she says, “Yes.”
At 3:20 a.m., the call taker gets directions to the victim’s location and the neighbor tells her to inform the deputy he has retrieved a weapon because the victim says someone is chasing her. The victim can be heard crying hysterically in the background as the neighbor tries to calm her, reassuring her that she will be alright.
A couple of minutes later, the neighbor suddenly sounds alarmed, saying the victim has disappeared and he does not know where she went. He soon finds her, hiding in a closet attached to another room. He can again be heard reassuring the young woman. Shortly thereafter, the deputy arrives and the recording ends.
Investigating officers reported the victim was “curled up in a ball” on the neighbor’s couch, covered in a blanket and wearing only her bra and panties.
LCSO investigators interviewed Kyle and Rachel Lewis. In Rachel Lewis’ statement, she admitted having several people over on the night in question. Both Kyle and Rachel Lewis said the victim was dropped off at their residence by an unidentified male, and was already extremely intoxicated. They claim the victim started vomiting and the brother and sister first placed her in their shower and later onto a couch. They stated they went to sleep after leaving the victim to rest on the couch, but awoke the next morning to find the front door wide open, with the bathroom in disarray and water running. The victim was gone, they said.
Investigators interviewed the victim at Hermann Hospital in Humble. She said she went to the Lewis home with mutual friend Shelby Lofton, 18, of Houston to meet up with Kyle Lewis. The victim said she, Kyle, Shelby went with a tattooed much older male friend of Kyle’s to a liquor store. The man was later identified as 33-year-old Larry Edward Tullos, Jr. of Splendora. The victim said they returned to the Lewis home with alcohol and drank it. Neither Kyle, nor Rachel Lewis mentioned Tullos in their statements.
Investigators interviewed two males who are friends of the Lewis siblings at Cleveland High School. Both made statements that supported the victim’s story about Larry Tullos. Furthermore, they said Kyle and Rachel Lewis had already told everyone present that fateful night not to mention Larry Tullos during the investigation.
The victim had named 18-year-old Shelby Lofton of Houston as the person who drove her to the Lewis home that night. However, when investigators spoke to Lofton, her story matched that of Kyle and Rachel Lewis including the part about the victim being dropped off by an unidentified male. The victim maintained she was with Lofton that night and told investigators she left her keys inside Lofton’s pickup. Investigators found the victim’s keys in the center console of Lofton’s vehicle.
On Tuesday, LCSO investigators interviewed Larry Tullos, Jr. at the Liberty County Annex. Tullos admitted he went to Kyle Lewis’ house on November 9 and picked up Kyle, Shelby Lofton and the victim, then drove to the liquor store on FM 2025 where he purchased a bottle of Vodka and "shooter tubes" for Kyle Lewis. Tullos said he then drove everyone back to the residence and they all went inside and drank the alcohol.
Tullos is a registered sex offender with a lengthy criminal history. The Texas Sex Offender Registry lists Tullos as a “moderate” risk. He pleaded guilty to Sexual Assault of a Child in 2003.
Tullos’ previous convictions include Theft of Property; Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon; and Driving While License Suspended (Enhanced).
Captain Evans said 20-year-old Kyle Lee Lewis, 17-year-old Rachel Leigh Lewis of Cleveland and 18-year-old Shelby Lofton of Houston are charged with making a False Report to a Peace Officer, which is a Class B misdemeanor. Larry Edward Tullos, Jr., 33, of Splendora is charged with Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor.
Evans said when Kyle Lee Lewis and Rachel Leigh Lewis were arrested they were quickly bonded out.
Evans said the investigation is ongoing and additional charges are possible.
BELOW IS AN INTERVIEW WITH CAPTAIN EVANS. FOLLOWING THE INTERVIEW IS ACTUAL 911 TAPE. THE NAMES AND EXACT ADDRESS HAVE BEEN REMOVED.
PLEASE NOTE THIS TAPE IS EXTREMELY DISTURBING
LARRY TULLOS JR.