They live among us....
By 02/21/2008 00:00:00
DA probates 100s of child sex offenders
JEREMY PHILLIPS,GLEN JACKSON and JENNIFER SALINAS
The Ellis County Press
ELLIS COUNTY - Hundreds of alleged sex offenders - 75 percent of which involve the alleged molestation of children - are free, many of which did not serve a day in jail, according to research compiled by The Ellis County Press.
County Attorney Joe Grubbs, whose office is responsible for prosecuting these alleged crimes, said his office was 'aggressive' in pursuing sex offenders.
Grubbs said many cases are plea bargained due to the difficulty of getting a defendant to cop a guilty plea. According to public records, some of these alleged offenders who have received probation terms of one or 10 years, will have their records expunged.
Some highlights from the sex offender searches detail Grubbs' handling of cases:
Freddy Dewayne Bailey
One of more than 200 registered sex offenders in Ellis County, Bailey, a resident of Ennis, received probation and a sentence of 35 hours of community service for indecency with a five-year-old child. Grubbs' office changed the felony charge - which carried the weight of a lengthy prison sentence - to a Class B misdemeanor - a charge which carries a sentence of 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
Convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a five-year-old, Augliar received a one-year probation sentence on Nov. 28, 1995. Augliar was required to register as a sex offender annually, but according to the Ennis Police Department, Augliar's wherabouts are unknown.
Out of 13 registered sex offenders - all of them first-time offenses - 11 received probation. The charges were against minors under the age of 16 and range from indecency with a child to aggravated sexual assault of a child (penetration).
Avalos is a convicted sex offender with no registration verification since 2006, according to public records. Verification is required when offenders move out of the county or to another place of residence. Avalos was charged with two counts of indecency with a child.
Judge Gene Knize
Shortly after being re-nominated to the GOP spot for 40th District Court judge in 2006, Gene Knize granted prosecutors' request of a 10-year probation sentence to Waxahachie attorney James Leonard on allegations he molested two girls under the age of 14. A warrant has since been issued for Leonard's arrest; authorities told The Ellis County Press Leonard is believed to be in El Salvador.
The judge has the final say on whether a plea deal is acceptable under state law and the rules of criminal procedure.
Currently, Ellis County has over 160 registered sex offenders, with the majority of those living in both Waxahachie and Ennis. Sixty-seven reside in Waxahachie, and 37 live in Ennis. The remaining offenders live in Avalon, Bardwell, Italy, Ferris, Red Oak and Palmer.
Numerous sex offenders were not current with their registration requirements, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety Web site. Out of approximately 37 registered sex offenders in Ennis, 11 received prison time, while the remainder received probation.
In next week's Ellis County Press, this newspaper will detail the statistics of prison versus probation for the remainder of sex offenders in Ellis County.