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Basecamp Terlingua Owner Indicted for Sexual Assault

Something you should know if you lean on our travel coverage.
By Shawn Shinneman |
Elizabeth Lavin

Last year when we were putting together our annual travel issue, a place called Basecamp Terlingua was all the rage. Think clear-top camping bubbles in remote, desert Texas. We almost put it on our cover. Texas Monthly did. We’re here to tell you that if you read either story and were considering a road trip, you may want to reconsider.

The owner of Basecamp, 52-year-old Jeff Leach, was indicted and subsequently arrested on a sexual assault charge in late February. The Big Bend Sentinel dives into the allegations here, starting with this:

Since July, at least three women have come forward to accuse Leach of assault — including two women who gave sworn affidavits this month and one woman who previously filed an incident report, court documents filed last Friday in Brewster County reveal. One of the women accuses Leach of raping her. Another accuses him of sexual assault.

In another case, from 2017, a judge granted a fourth woman a restraining order after Leach allegedly threatened to harm her, The Big Bend Sentinel has learned.

Some of the allegations have surfaced in court because Leach is currently suing one alleged victim for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Leach did not respond to requests to comment for this story sent to his academic email and his email for his nonprofit.

Leach has been released on a $20,000 bond. We have attached a note to our 2019 travel guide.

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