Tuesday, November 18, 2003

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Attorney General Abbott Targets Child Predators In Houston

HOUSTON - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today announced the arrests of five child sex offenders in the Houston area who were hiding from authorities, bringing to 38 the number of convicted child predators arrested for parole violations statewide by Abbott's newly formed Fugitive Unit.



(Jaime Martinez, Anthony McCall, Steven Moreno)

(Ruben Lopez, Horace Cullum)

"The law permits convicted felons to be paroled, but there can be no second chances for child predators," Abbott said. "The Fugitive Unit is targeting and arresting child predators who have violated parole. We are sending a clear message to criminals who prey on children - we will find you."

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice reported in August that nearly 200 convicted criminals on parole for child sex offenses could not be located. "This is a grave concern for all Texans," said Abbott. "And it is especially troubling, given the number of Texas children who have already been sexually assaulted by these parolees."

Fugitive Unit investigators arrested Jaime Javier Martinez, 43, on a parole violation warrant. Martinez was convicted of sexually assaulting a 7-year-old Harris County girl in 1993. Steven Moreno, 33, of Rosenberg, and Anthony Gerald McCall, 38, Ruben Jose Lopez, 47, and Horace Cullum, 53, all of Houston, were arrested during the Attorney General's latest child sex offender round-up.

Since Attorney General Abbott formed the Fugitive Unit in August, nearly 40 child predators have been arrested, including one parole violator who was arrested while watching children on a busy playground and another who was on parole after serving time in prison for murder and sexually molesting a child. "Because they target the most vulnerable of victims, our children, we are going after these predators," Abbott said. "Let me say this to parole violators and fugitives - save yourselves and your families a lot of trouble. Turn yourselves in today, because we are coming after you."

While working with the Harris County Sheriff's Department, Attorney General investigators also helped track down four other child predators who were wanted on a variety of child sex offenses. The arrests included twin brothers, Fidencio and Elpidio Zuniga, both 41, who were wanted on Aggravated Sexual Assault Charges in connection with the sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl.

"We must all be vigilant in the protection of our children from sexual predators. Our collaboration with the Harris County Sheriff's Department and other law enforcement agencies in Texas is giving us more weapons in the fight against these predators." Abbott said. "There is no greater importance than the innocence and safety of our children."

With help from the Governor's office, Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for Fugitive arrests. If you have information on any of the fugitives listed on the Attorney General's website, call 1 (800) 252-TIPS (8477).

For information about these and other fugitives, go to the main fugitives page.