THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF TEXAS
Ken Paxton

Monday, February 26, 2007

Brenham Man Arrested Twice By Cyber Crimes Unit Pleads Guilty, Receives 12-Year Prison Sentence

BRENHAM A former Brenham city worker was sentenced to 12 years in prison for using the Internet to solicit a child for sex. In a case prosecuted by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Cyber Crimes Unit, John David Payne, 28, pleaded guilty Friday in Washington County District Court to one count of criminal solicitation of a minor, a second-degree felony.

Payne, a former Brenham Water Department employee, also agreed to plead guilty in Bastrop County to a separate charge of attempted sexual performance by a child, a third-degree felony. His sentence on that charge will run concurrent with his Washington County sentence.

Texans will not tolerate criminals who prey upon our children, Attorney General Abbott said. Twice arrested for preying on children, this offender is a prime example of the dangerous, incorrigible nature of these predators. Our Cyber Crimes Unit will continue its aggressive crackdown on criminals who target young Texans.

Cyber Crimes Unit officers arrested Payne in December 2005 after he traveled from Brenham to Bastrop to meet a child he solicited for sex. When he arrived, Payne discovered the child was a Cyber Crimes Unit investigator posing as an underage girl.

While Payne was out on bond in the Bastrop County case, Cyber Crimes Unit officers arrested him again for propositioning an undercover investigator in a MySpace.com chat room. Payne was charged with online solicitation of a minor.

Attorney General Abbott’s top priority is protecting children. His Cyber Crimes and Fugitive units have arrested more than 500 sexual predators since he took office in December 2002. The Fugitive Unit locates convicted child sex offenders who have violated the terms of their parole and could be stalking children.