As sheriff in Falls County, Tex., Ricky Scaman cast himself as a tough, cowboy-hat-wearing lawman willing to sacrifice his body to personally catch bad guys. After he broke his arm while chasing down a fugitive last year, he told the Waco Tribune, “I couldn’t wait for backup.”

But two co-workers in his office — including his former assistant chief deputy — recently painted another picture of the elected Republican. In separate federal lawsuits, the women alleged he is a serial sexual harasser, who used his power to attack them.

On Monday, the Texas Rangers arrested Scaman, 48, on sexual assault and other charges after two other government employees said he groped them and verbally harassed them while “acting under color of his office as a public servant, namely Falls County sheriff,” the Tribune reported.

An attorney who has represented Scaman in the past didn’t immediately respond to a message early Tuesday about the charges. The Falls County Sheriff’s Office also didn’t immediately respond.

Scaman was elected sheriff in 2016 in Falls County, a rural, farming area of around 17,000 people bisected by the Brazos River about 30 miles south of Waco. He spent nearly three decades in law enforcement, the Tribune reported, and as sheriff, boasted of hunting down drug dealers while inviting TV reporters to tag along.

Behind the scenes, though, two women in his office claimed the sheriff preyed on them. In 2018, Nanci Anderson, his former assistant chief deputy, filed a federal lawsuit that compared Scaman to disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein, noting “even a modicum of power in the wrong hands can wreak havoc.”

Anderson said Scaman barraged her with sexual texts, demanded she send him nude photos and repeatedly tried to pressure her to have sex in his hotel room while they were on a work trip.

The next year, Shirley Lynn Boger, a dispatcher and jailer, filed another federal suit against Scaman. She claimed the sheriff invited her into his office, and then grabbed her, licked her face, stuck his hands in her pants and sexually assaulted her under her clothes.

“She could barely breath or move. When Scaman was done using [her] body for his personal sexual gratification, he told her to straighten up her uniform and leave his office,” her federal complaint said, adding she “tried to gather her composure and return to her duties on the jail floor.”

Last year, Scaman’s attorney denied both women’s allegations to the Tribune, calling them “completely fabricated.” Both lawsuits were dismissed in 2019; the Tribune reported they were settled.

On Monday, a five-count indictment against Scaman from a grand jury was unsealed, according to the Tribune, alleging the sheriff sexually abused a female city employee in Marlin, Tex., the county seat, in August. The woman said Scaman grabbed her breasts or genitals, sexually harassed her and made unwelcome advances.

A second woman, an employee at the Falls County Jail, also told investigators the sheriff had sexually harassed her and made unwelcome advances in April.

He is charged with two counts of assault on a public servant, one count of sexual assault and two misdemeanor counts of official oppression, according to records reviewed by KWTX.

Scaman is being held in nearby Bell County with a $195,000 bond, the Tribune reported.