Ken Paxton

Monday, August 8, 2005

Attorney General Abbott Hails Grand Jury Indictment Of Kerrville Veterinarian

SAN MARCOS - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today praised a Hays County grand jury for indicting a Kerrville veterinarian arrested on July 25 when he drove to Buda with the intention of meeting a person he believed to be an underage girl for sexual contact. The girl was an undercover Cyber Crimes Unit investigator whom Jonathan Ward Brooke had engaged in conversation in an online Austin-area chat room.

The grand jury indicted Brooke on two counts of attempted aggravated sexual assault of a child and one count each of attempted sexual performance by a child and online criminal solicitation of a minor. All are second-degree felonies with a punishment of from two to 20 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine.

This grand jury should be commended for taking a stand on behalf of Texas children, said Attorney General Abbott. The indictment is a statement of condemnation for such acts against children, and it is a reminder that we must always be vigilant in stopping predators who intend to harm children.

Brooke, 52, allegedly believed he was chatting with a 13-year-old girl online, ultimately convincing her to meet him at a fast food restaurant in the town of Buda south of Austin. When he arrived at the prearranged location, Cyber Crimes officers arrested him.

Brooke owns an animal clinic in Kerrville and is married with three children. He has been free on $175,000 bond while awaiting indictment.

Attorney General Abbott has made pursuing sexual predators a top priority in his administration, establishing the Cyber Crimes and Fugitive units in 2003. To date, the Cyber Crimes Unit has made 61 arrests of individuals attempting to meet children. The Fugitive Unit locates and arrests child sex offenders who have violated parole. A total of 215 arrests have been made by this unit.