Ken Paxton

Friday, October 10, 2003

Attorney General Abbott Targets Child Predators In North Texas

DALLAS - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today announced the arrests of nine child sex offenders in North Texas who were hiding from authorities, bringing to 24 the number of convicted child predators arrested for parole violations statewide by Abbott's newly formed Fugitive Unit.

(Robert Barr, Billy Bullard, Burton Cleaves)

(Andrew Gallegos, Namon Hearn, Charncey Lynn)

(Michael Powell, Kevin Walker, Ricky Brink)

"The law permits convicted felons to be paroled, but there can be no second chances for child predators," Abbott said. "The Fugitive Unit is targeting and arresting child predators who have violated parole. We are sending a clear message to criminals who prey on children - we will find you."

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice reported in August that nearly 200 convicted criminals on parole for child sex offenses could not be located. "This is a grave concern for all Texans," said Abbott. "And is especially troubling, given the number of Texas children who have already been sexually assaulted by these parolees."

Since Attorney General Abbott formed the Fugitive Unit in August, two dozen child predators have been arrested, including one parole violator who was arrested while watching children on a busy playground and another who was on parole after serving time in prison for indecency with a child and murder. "Because they target the most vulnerable of victims, our children, we are going after these predators," Abbott said. "Let me send a message directly to parole violators and fugitives - save yourselves and your families a lot of trouble. Turn yourselves in today, because we are coming after you."

The Attorney General's push to find these offenders and put them back in prison is part of a multifaceted drive to make Texas safer. Along with the new Fugitive Unit, the Cyber Crimes Unit will work to protect children being targeted online.

Abbott's Cyber Crimes Unit has arrested 16 child predators who solicited sex from children using online chat rooms. The men arrested believed they were setting up meetings with underage girls. In reality, the conversations were with Attorney General investigators.

"The Cyber Crimes Unit adds another dimension to our already strong record of catching criminals who prey on the vulnerabilities of children," Abbott said. "Our track record of success proves that the problem exists on a scale some parents may not realize. We must all be vigilant in the protection of our children from these 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 website, call 1 (800) 252-TIPS (8477).

For information about these and other fugitives, go to the main fugitives page.