Tuesday, February 28, 2006

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Attorney General Abbott's Sexual Predator Crackdown Nets 400th Arrest In Houston Operation

HOUSTON – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Fugitive and Cyber Crimes Units marked the 400th arrest in less than three years with the apprehension of Billy Gene Hutchins, 38, for parole violation on Monday during a fugitive roundup operation in Harris County. Investigators, with the assistance of the Houston Police Department, also arrested Kenneth Joel Tarver, 49, for parole violation; and Morris Lee Gray, 38, Frederick Espinosa Jr., 50, and Cornelius Ray Osborne, 33, for violation of Texas Sex Offender registration requirements.

All five arrests emphasize the importance of initiatives by Attorney General Abbott to track down and arrest child sex offenders around the state.

 

Media Links
Billy Hutchins
Billy Hutchins
Video of arrest
Video of Billy Hutchins' arrest
Kenneth Tarver
Kenneth Tarver
Video of arrest
Video of Kenneth Tarver's arrest
Morris Gray
Morris Gray
Video of arrest
Video of Morris Gray's arrest
Frederick Espinosa, Jr.
Frederick Espinosa, Jr.
Video of arrest
Video of Frederick Espinosa's arrest
Cornelius Osborne
Cornelius Osborne

“Children are being victimized at the hands of previously convicted sex offenders and online criminals,” Attorney General Abbott said. “Our Fugitive and Cyber Crimes investigators are committed to getting these predators off the streets, and I greatly appreciate the cooperation of the many local law enforcement agencies and prosecutors who join us in protecting children and their families by putting these sex offenders behind bars.”

Attorney General Abbott established the Fugitive and Cyber Crimes units in 2003 to track down and arrest criminals before they can sexually exploit children. Abbott also initiated Operation Missing Predator in April 2005 to locate and arrest convicted sex offenders who are not registered. Since their creation, the Fugitive and Cyber Crimes units have made more than 400 arrests of parole violators, unregistered sex offenders, and cyber predators.

Hutchins, who has been a fugitive since June 9, 2004, was arrested in Houston without incident by Fugitive Unit investigators on a warrant for parole violation issued by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) after he absconded from the halfway house he was assigned to in Houston. In 1999, Hutchins was sentenced to 10 years in state prison after being convicted in Leon County for indecency with a child by sexual contact. The victim was a 10-year-old male. Prior to that conviction, Hutchins was sentenced to five years probation for a 1994 conviction for indecency with a child in Milam County. The victim in that case was a 12-year-old boy.

Investigators arrested Tarver on a parole violation warrant issued by TDCJ for failing to attend treatment. In 1991, Tarver was sentenced to 20 years in prison after being convicted in Dallas County for sexual assault of a child. The victim was a 15-year-old girl. He is being held in Harris County Jail.

Gray was arrested without incident at a construction site in Houston for failing to comply with mandatory sex offender registration requirements. In 1999, Gray was convicted in Harris County of sexual assault against a 12-year-old girl and sentenced to seven years probation. He was scheduled to be discharged from supervision in Jan. 2006, but his failure to comply with registration requisites resulted in a warrant being issued for his arrest in Dec. 2005.

In 2000, Espinosa was convicted in El Paso County of indecency with a child by sexual contact and sentenced to five years in state prison. The victim was an 8-year-old girl. Investigators arrested Espinosa on an arrest warrant from the Harris County Sheriff’s Department after he failed to comply with sex offender registration requirements.

Osborne was arrested without incident at a residence in Houston for failing to comply with mandatory sex offender registration requirements. In 1993, Osborne was convicted in Harris County of aggravated sexual assault against a 12-year-old girl and sentenced to 10 years in prison. His failure to register as a sex offender resulted in an arrest warrant being issued by the Houston Police Department in Nov. 2005.

The Attorney General’s Fugitive Unit works with TDCJ and other law enforcement agencies to pinpoint and arrest the fugitives who have violated parole and could be stalking children. Parole violations include failing to report to parole officers, being absent without permission or being present in areas that might allow them access to young children. The unit has arrested 330 sex offenders, including 13 Louisiana criminals with outstanding warrants who fled to Texas during Hurricane Katrina.

Attorney General Abbott established the Cyber Crimes Unit in May 2003 to track down child predators on the Internet. Cyber Crimes Unit investigators assume the identity of underage teens in Internet chat rooms, which often leads to child predators soliciting them for sex and then attempting to meet them. To date, the unit has netted 74 arrests in 14 Texas counties and Indonesia.

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.