Ken Paxton

Friday, October 3, 2003

Attorney General Abbott's Fugitive Unit Arrests 19 Convicted Child Sex Offenders

SAN ANTONIO - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today announced that his Fugitive Unit has tracked down and arrested nineteen convicted child sex offenders who were hiding from authorities. Two men wanted for parole violations were arrested Thursday in Bexar County. Both men had previously been convicted of child sex crimes.

"We started this program to protect children from predators who have proven they cannot be trusted with the innocence of our children," said Attorney General Abbott. "Even as the arrested child sex offenders sit in jail, we are closing in on more. There are no second chances for child predators."

(Steven Cherry, Joe Hernandez)

The latest arrests include two men in Bexar County. Investigators with the Attorney General's Fugitive Unit arrested Steven Cherry, 30, Thursday morning in San Antonio. Cherry was convicted of indecency with a child in 1992 and was on parole at the time of his arrest. Members of Attorney General Abbott's Fugitive Unit also arrested Joe Hernandez, 43, of San Antonio after an emergency warrant was issued for parole violations. Both men are convicted child sex offenders who were violating conditions of their parole.

Attorney General Abbott started the Fugitive Unit in early August after the Texas Department of Criminal Justice reported nearly 200 child sex offenders on parole could not be located. Abbott's investigators arrested 19 sexual predators and other law enforcement agencies have captured 14 fugitives on the Attorney General's Wanted List. One such arrest was made as a paroled child sex offender was watching children play at an Austin playground, a clear violation of his parole.

"The benchmark of our success is possible due to cooperation with other law enforcement agencies. We are pleased that along with Crime Stoppers and TDCJ, parole officers and local police are joining in this fight," Abbott said. "We must all be vigilant in the protection of our children from sexual predators."

With help from the Governor's office, Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for Fugitive arrests. If you have information on any of the fugitives listed on the Attorney General's Web site, call 1(800) 252-TIPS (8477).