James Baker, Marcus Reed Due in Court

Both former firefighters face charges pertaining to sexual assault

James Baker, Marcus Reed Due in Court

Two former Austin firefighters will appear in court this month to face charges that they, in separate incidents, used their positions within the department to prey on women. James Baker, accused of invasive video recording of female colleagues while they showered, is due to appear on Jan. 17. Marcus Reed, an arson investigator who formally retired this week, will appear the following week on Jan. 22, to address charges of sexual assault, abuse of official capacity, official oppression, and misuse of official information. A woman has accused Reed of sexually assaulting her in his city-owned truck last spring.

District Attorney Margaret Moore issued a statement Jan. 3 announcing that Reed had turned himself in, but offered no further comment. AFD Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr was similarly mum, suspending the 20-year vet without pay and deferring further action until the case has worked through Moore's office. Baker retired shortly after admitting to his misconduct, and his case has since served as a benchmark moment at AFD. Austin Fire Association membership held a press conference in December to deride Baker's actions and accuse the department of coming up short on its internal processes. And Kerr has spoken bluntly about the Baker case, invoking the #MeToo movement, and pointing to policy and workplace equity changes already made.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Marcus Reed
Former Austin Firefighter Faces New Sex Charges
Former Austin Firefighter Faces New Sex Charges
Marcus Reed now accused of indecency with a child and aggravated perjury

Sarah Marloff, June 14, 2019

More James Baker
James Baker Receives His Sentence
James Baker Receives His Sentence
Disgraced firefighter gets five years probation, loses EMT and firefighting licenses

Nina Hernandez, Nov. 9, 2018

More by Nina Hernandez
Indoor Skydiving Lets You Train Your Dragon in Virtual Reality
Indoor Skydiving Lets You Train Your Dragon in Virtual Reality
Taking to the skies with iFly's latest immersive VR

March 27, 2019

New Study Changes City Council's View of Flood Risk
New Study Changes City Council's View of Flood Risk
Puzzling over a variance on Avenue D, and spending the first of the 2018 bond funds

March 15, 2019


Marcus Reed, James Baker, Margaret Moore, Rhoda Mae Kerr

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle