Ken Paxton

Friday, May 18, 2012

Jefferson County Sheriffs Office Arrests Child Support Evader Gerald Victor Coy

BEAUMONT The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday arrested Most Wanted Child Support Evader Gerald Victor Coy on felony charges associated with his failure to pay more than $72,000 to support his 16-year-old son and 18-year-old daughter. Coy, 43, faces prosecution on felony criminal nonsupport charges in Jefferson County, where his children reside. Jefferson County District Attorney Tom Maness’s office will prosecute the criminal nonsupport case.

Yesterday’s arrest reflects a concerted, coordinated effort to locate one of the State’s most wanted Child Support Evaders, said Attorney General Abbott. Violating a court order requiring him to pay child support, the defendant ignored his legal and moral responsibility to support his children. We are grateful to Jefferson County Sheriff G. Mitch Woods and District Attorney Maness for their hard work on this case and their commitment to Texas children.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office arrested Coy yesterday after following up on a lead from an investigator with the Attorney General’s Child Support Division, who uncovered the identity and location of Coy’s current girlfriend. Sheriff’s Office investigators, who are also deputy U.S. Marshals, arrested Coy in Richmond, Texas, after he drove his girlfriend to work. Coy is being held in the Jefferson County Jail on a $100,000 bond.

In 1997, Coy was ordered to pay $500 per month for his children’s care and support. After Coy repeatedly violated the child support order, the Attorney General’s Child Support Division referred the case to District Attorney Maness for criminal prosecution.

A felony criminal nonsupport conviction carries a penalty of up to two years in a state jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

The Child Support Division of the Attorney General’s office is responsible for establishing and enforcing civil child support orders. Attorney General Abbott fosters cooperation between his office and local prosecutors, who have the ability to pursue criminal penalties against parents who have the financial capacity to care for their children, yet steadfastly refuse to make court-ordered child support payments.