Tuesday, March 21, 2006

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Attorney General Abbott's Cyber Crimes Unit Obtains Indictments Against Mabank Man For Child Porn; Arrests Another For Online Solicitation

AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Cyber Crimes investigators continued their crackdown on child sex offenders, obtaining indictments against a Mabank man on charges of possession and promotion of child pornography on Friday and arresting a Victoria man on Thursday for allegedly using the Internet to solicit sex from a child.

Harrison J. Havens, Jr., 53, was indicted by a Henderson County grand jury on 13 counts of possession of child pornography and two counts of promotion of child pornography.

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Harrison Havens
Harrison Havens
Dionicio Robles, Jr.
Dionicio Robles, Jr.

Dionicio Robles, Jr., 52, was arrested in Victoria County after he allegedly sexually propositioned a person he thought was a 13-year-old girl online. The "girl" was actually an undercover Cyber Crimes investigator. Robles was charged with online solicitation of a minor.

“I am committed to cracking down on those who seek to harm our children,” Attorney General Abbott said. “Internet-related crimes pose a threat to the fabric of our society, especially to the younger members of the community who can easily be misled by predators. I appreciate the efforts of local law enforcement in helping us hold these men accountable.”

Cyber Crimes investigators executed a search warrant at Havens’ Mabank residence after a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that he was distributing sexually explicit images of children online. Forensic analysis of media confiscated at the home revealed several images and video of children engaged in sexual conduct. At the time of the investigation, Havens was working as a waste treatment facility manager.

Possession of child pornography is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Promotion is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Robles allegedly proposed a meeting for sex after he began chatting online with the “girl” in December 2005. Although Robles did not show up for the scheduled meeting on March 16, Cyber Crimes Unit investigators worked with Victoria police to arrest him on a warrant issued by 135th District Judge Kemper Stephen Williams.

In 2005, the Texas Legislature passed and Gov. Perry signed House Bill 2228, which makes it a felony offense to “knowingly solicit” a minor to meet for sex. The law, which went into effect on June 18, explicitly prohibits the predator from claiming as a defense the fact that the meeting did not occur.

“The recent change in Texas law means that a person no longer has to actually show up for a rendezvous for us to arrest him,” Attorney General Abbott added. “The solicitation of a meeting with someone he believes to be a 13-year-old is enough for our investigators to take him into custody.”

Robles faces second-degree felony charges under the statute, punishable by two to 20 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Attorney General Abbott has made pursuing sexual predators a top priority in his administration. The Cyber Crimes Unit, which targets online predators, and the Fugitive Unit, which locates convicted child sex offenders who have violated the terms of their parole and could be stalking children, have combined for over 400 arrests of such offenders since Abbott took office in December 2002. His office also has obtained convictions against 38 men on child pornography charges.

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.