Tuesday, October 18, 2005

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Attorney General Abbott Announces Arrest Of Sex Offender Featured On America’S Most Wanted

AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today announced the arrest of a fugitive sex offender from Del Valle who was located in Mexico after being featured on “America’s Most Wanted.” The Attorney General’s Fugitive Unit, which had been seeking Charles Randall Brunson for violating his parole, worked with the U.S. Marshals Service to provide information for the national TV crime program and its Web site.

Brunson, who was convicted in 1997 in Travis County for sexually assaulting his four-year-old daughter, was featured by “America’s Most Wanted” in late September. A subsequent tip from a couple living in Jalisco, Mexico, indicated Brunson was living in the area. The Attorney General’s office and the U.S. Department of Justice worked with Mexican officials to detain and transport him back to Texas. He was turned over to officers with the Fugitive Unit, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the U.S. Marshals Service on Monday at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

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Charles Brunson
Video of Arrest
Video of Arrest

“Many people have been hurt by this sex offender, including his own daughter, and I am pleased he is back in custody,” Attorney General Abbott said. “I am deeply grateful to ‘America’s Most Wanted,’ the brave couple who provided this crucial tip, and U.S. and Mexican authorities for helping us locate this man and bring him back for what I hope will be a long stay behind bars in Texas.”

“America’s Most Wanted” highlighted Brunson during its Sept. 24 broadcast and on its Web site. Around the same time, a retired Canadian couple who ran a youth ministry in Chapala, a village in the state of Jalisco, had met Brunson, who worked as a welder and handyman in the area. Brunson revealed information about his criminal history that concerned them, and after searching for his name on the Internet they found his photo and profile on the “America’s Most Wanted” Web site. The husband, who previously served as a dispatcher for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and his wife quickly alerted authorities to Brunson’s location, and within days the convicted sex offender was on his way back to Texas.

In 1987, Brunson, 38, was sentenced to 45 years in prison, later reduced to 35 years, after being convicted in Bastrop County of shooting a man to death. He was also sentenced to 10 years for injuring a young girl during the shooting incident. In 1990, Brunson was released to Travis County on an appeal bond. While he was out on bond, he was charged with sexually assaulting his four-year-old daughter. In 1997, he was convicted on that charge and sentenced to five years in prison.

In March 2000, Brunson was paroled to Travis County but he soon fled after removing his electronic tracking monitor. An arrest warrant was issued in November 2000 for violating his parole and he was placed on the state’s Top 10 Most Wanted list.

Cracking down on sexual predators is a top priority of Attorney General Abbott’s administration. His Cyber Crimes and Fugitive units have arrested 330 sexual predators since he took office in December 2002. The Cyber Crimes Unit, which targets online predators, has made 66 arrests to date. The Fugitive Unit, which locates convicted child sex offenders who have violated the terms of their parole and could be stalking children, has arrested 232. In addition, the Fugitive Unit has arrested 36 unregistered sex offenders as part of Operation Missing Predator, a statewide initiative launched in April to locate and arrest convicted sex offenders who are not in compliance with sex offender registration requirements.

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.