WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A former general manager at a local automobile dealerships has been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting female employees.
Steven Duran, 40, was arrested Thursday, January 27 and is charged with four counts of sexual assault, each with a $125,000 bond, for a total of $500,000. Duran is currently being held at the Wichita County Jail.
Authorities received police reports on December 9, 2021 for incidents occurring throughout last year.
One arrest affidavit details an incident between Duran and a victim in July 2021. The victim told police she was contacted by Duran to meet at a local restaurant to meet with him and one of her customers to help close a sale. When the victim told Duran she had no meeting set up, Duran insisted she come anyway.
The victim told police she met with Duran and the customer, and that Duran was acting arrogant toward the customer so she went outside. The victim stated Duran followed her outside, pushed her behind a door, and put his hand down her pants.
The victim stated she later walked to her vehicle to leave. She said Duran told her to sit in his vehicle with him so he could talk to her about the sales process. She said she sat with him and when she could not get the steps of the sales process correct, Duran became angry and told her he could help. She stated he then leaned over and assaulted her again. She stated Duran stopped when a passing vehicle passed by and the headlights passed through the vehicle.
Authorities spoke with a staff member at the restaurant, who said they saw Duran and the victim together and thought it was strange, because they knew the victim and Duran worked together and that Duran was married. The staff member said Duran would touch the victim on the back and the victim appeared uncomfortable with Duran’s touch.
The victim said she drove home and convinced herself not to say anything. She said she needed to keep the job because she was a single mother and the job allowed her to better care for her child. She said her mother was also battling an illness and the job allowed her to help her mother with her bills.
A second affidavit details an assault from August 2021 in which the victim said Duran told her to meet him at a private club in Wichita Falls to go over the sales process. The victim said Duran had already been drinking alcohol when she arrived. She stated Duran made her uncomfortable by looking through her phone, but another manager arrived.
The victim told police she tried to leave when the other manager left, but Duran told her it would be rude for her to leave before he paid the bill. After the bill was paid, Duran walked with the victim as she left. The victim said her car was parked close to Duran’s.
The affidavit said the victim told police Duran forced her into the backseat of his vehicle. The victim said she tried to tell him “no” but he slapped her very hard across the face, causing her pain and fear. She stated she then stopped struggling and Duran forcibly assaulted her.
A third affidavit details an assault that occurred in June 2021 at an apartment in the 4800 block of Brookdale Drive in Wichita Falls.
According to the affidavit, a victim stated she had kittens she was trying to find homes for and Duran showed an interest in the kittens. She said she offered to bring the kittens to work but Duran insisted on coming to the apartment. She said when Duran arrived she tried to bring the kittens out to Duran, but he talked his way into the apartment.
The victim told authorities after she showed Duran the kittens, he continued to linger. She said she felt uncomfortable and tried to get Duran to leave, but he refused. The victim said once they were alone, Duran forced her onto her bed and forced his hand down her pants.
The victim said a friend called her phone and told her to come outside. She stated she was afraid to fight Duran, so she used the phone call as an opportunity to get away. She said she left with a friend.
The victim said Duran apologized to her the next day and said he had been intoxicated.
The victim said Duran would threaten to drug test her any time she tried to resist him. She said she understood this as a threat to be fired and she needed the job to pay her bills.
A fourth affidavit details an assault that also occurred in June 2021 at a gas station in Wichita Falls. The victim told police she was at the gas station used by the dealership to fill up vehicles for the business. She said she took the card to Duran, and after he filled up he asked her to get in the car with him to talk about sales deals he had coming up.
The victim said as Duran drove around he began to fondle her and assault her.
The victim said a few days later Duran apologized to her and said he had been intoxicated.
The victim said when she was hired at the auto dealership at which Duran was the general manager, she failed her drug test. Duran told her she would still be hired but would have to submit to a drug test on three occasions in the first year of her employment.
According to the arrest affidavits, Duran used his position as a general manager at the car lot to sexually assault female employees.
The affidavits state Duran would identify vulnerable female employees and begin complimenting them, eventually telling them how he could help them do their job better. Duran would find an excuse to meet the victims off property and sexually assault them.
According to the affidavits, Duran would later apologize to the victims and blame his behavior on being intoxicated. The victims did not immediately report the incidents out of fear of being fired.
As of Friday afternoon, January 28, Duran’s lawyer had already filed for a habeas hearing to lower his bond, but no ruling has been made.