Wednesday, June 1, 2005

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Attorney General Abbott Arrests Four Sex Offenders Who Failed To Register Their Whereabouts

HOUSTON – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today announced the arrests of four Houston sex offenders who failed to register their whereabouts with law enforcement authorities. The announcement kicked off Operation Missing Predator, a statewide initiative by the Attorney General’s office to locate and arrest convicted sex offenders who are not registered.

The unregistered sex offenders who were arrested are William Charles Davis, 46; William Clarence Martin, 43; Lionell Jones, 53; and Luther James Carroll, 47.

Lionell JonesWilliam Martin

“Texans have a right to know if a sex offender lives in their community,” Attorney General Abbott said. “Through Operation Missing Predator, our Fugitive Unit aims to protect citizens by tracking down and arresting convicted sex offenders who have shirked their responsibility to register their whereabouts.”

Davis was arrested on May 20 by Fugitive Unit officers on a warrant issued by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office for failing to maintain his sex offender registration. In 2000, Davis was sentenced to two years in prison after being convicted in Harris County of indecency with a child with sexual contact. The victim was a 7-year-old female. He was discharged from prison in 2001 but let his registration lapse in 2002.

Fugitive Unit investigators arrested Martin on May 18 on a warrant issued by the Houston Police Department. In 1994, Martin was convicted in Duval County, Fla., for sexually assaulting a 27-year-old female. He was released in 2002. A warrant for his arrest was issued in March 2005 after he failed to notify Houston police when he moved to a new address.

In 1998, Jones was convicted in Harris County of sexual assault against a 30-year-old female and was sentenced to four years in prison. He was discharged in 2002 but was arrested again on May 19, 2005, for failing to update his annual registration with the Houston Police Department.

Carroll was arrested on May 20 by Fugitive Unit investigators for failing to update his sex offender registration. In 1979, Carroll was convicted in Harris County of aggravated sexual assault against a 38-year-old female. He was released in 2001, but failed to update his registration in 2004.

The offenders being sought by Operation Missing Predator were released from prison after serving their sentences, and have no other condition attached to their release except to register as a sex offender.

It is unclear how many unregistered sex offenders there are in Texas. As part of Operation Missing Predator, Fugitive Unit investigators are reviewing the names of offenders released from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to identify those who have not registered.

Attorney General Abbott has made pursuing sexual predators a top priority in his administration. His Fugitive and Cyber Crimes units have arrested nearly 250 child sex predators since he created the units in 2003. The Fugitive Unit works to pinpoint and arrest convicted child sex offenders who have violated parole and could be stalking children. Cyber Crimes investigators assume the identity of underage teens in Internet chat rooms, which often leads to child predators soliciting them for sex online and then attempting to meet them. Predators agree to meet the person they think is a child, but are surprised to find out the “child” is actually a Cyber Crimes investigator.

To find out more about Attorney General Abbott’s efforts to crack down on sexual predators, visit the Attorney General’s Web site at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov or call (800) 252-8011.