UTSA Vice President for Communications David Gabler has been fired following his arrest on April 13 for aggravated sexual assault of a child, ending 17 years of employment. Gabler was released on a $75,000 bond.
According to an Alamo Heights press release, at approximately 2:15 a.m., April 13, a police officer noticed a parked car at the 500 block of Argo, in Alamo Heights. The officer then observed some movement within the vehicle. Upon approaching the car the officer saw what appeared to be an older man and young boy putting on their clothes.
The 15-year-old gave a statement to the police initially claiming Gabler, 47, was a family friend. After further questioning, the boy revealed the two had met in an Internet chat room.
“That was the boy’s initial story, but later the truth came out,” Administrative Sergeant for the Alamo Heights Police Department Tom Vitacco said. “I can tell you there was absolutely no family relation between the two.”
According to an Alamo Heights Police Department press release, “The perpetrator then picked up the boy in front of his home and drove to the location where they engaged in sexual activity even though the perpetrator was aware of the child’s age.”
“The fact that he (the boy) was under the age of 17 raised the charges to aggravated assault,” Vitacco said. “There was no weapon and no force.”
According to the police report, the victim was transported to Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital and Gabler was brought to the Methodist Specialty and Transplant to conduct sexual assault exams. DNA evidence was found on both the victim and the suspect.
The police department then obtained a search warrant for Gabler’s home, which was searched with the assistance of the United States Secret Service. Authorities confiscated computers, cameras and digital media, which will be analyzed for further evidence.
The U.S. Secret Service’s Electronic Crimes Task Force (ECTF) has also become involved. The task force’s mission is to “prioritize investigative cases that involve electronic crimes.”
Gabler, who joined UTSA in 1995, was the university’s official spokesperson and crisis communicator. He accompanied President Ricardo Romo during many press interviews. He also received several awards for his work in public relations.
Associate Director for Media Relation Christi Fish said, “No decision has been made yet,” regarding Gabler’s replacement. Later, the University declined any further interviews from the media.
Fish released a statement on behalf of the university shortly following the arrest of Gabler expressing “great sorrow” for having learned about the arrest, and assuring that “our hearts go out to all those involved.”
Gabler has not been indicted.
Mysanantonio.com reported Saturday that attorney Clint M. Glenny II is representing Gabler.
“Mr. Gabler vehemently denies the allegations made against him and looks forward to proving his innocence in a Bexar County court,” Glenny wrote in a statement released on MySA.com. “We are confident that after all the facts become known that he will be exonerated.”
The ECTF and the police are reviewing the evidence to determine whether or not there are more victims.