Seeking change in sex offender laws

March 10, 2009 9:19:38 PM PDT
The state is keeping you in the dark about how sick some people really are. 13 Undercover is trying to fix that. We took the case to the state capitol. [SEE THE STORY: Watch our 13 Undercover report]

We've already exposed the exposers, how the law keeps serial flashers from ever paying a bigger price. Your primary weapon against sex offenders is knowing who they are and where they are, but are you being told all you should be to protect your family?

"Mr. Skiles, I'm Wayne Dolceifno with Channel 13," we said as we chased after John Skiles.

Take a good look at John Skiles. His T-shirt says "Cleverly disguised as an adult." Hurry. He's getting ready to run.

"Mr. Skiles, do you think it's fair to your neighbors that you are still here?" we asked him, but got no answer.

Because Mr. Skiles has four convictions for indecent exposure. One time, he pleasured himself in front of a neighbor.

"We had no idea that 180 days is all anyone can get," said one neighbor of Skiles who didn't want to be identified.

With good time, that means even a serial exposer will spend only 90 days behind bars no matter how many times he does it, as long as he sticks to grossing out just adults. He's not even forced into treatment.

"That's somebody I don't want in my neighborhood," said Kelly Boros with the Houston Area Women's Center. "That's somebody I would want off the streets."

After two convictions for indecent exposure, you do have to register as a sex offender. But how many people know that?

Take a look at John Skiles' record on the DPS sex offender website. It only shows one conviction from April 2007, not the four convictions he really has.

Eunius Johnson shows up on the website with just one conviction.

"I think people deserve to know exactly who you are dealing with," said Harris County Precinct 1 Constable J.C. Mosier.

And the truth about Eunius Johnson is that he doesn't just have one conviction for indecent exposure. He's got nine.

"It probably would be more helpful for people to know the full story," said Judge Larry Standley of the Harris County Criminal Courts.

And then there's Filomeno Salas. Get a good look. You won't find his picture anywhere on the DPS website. He had two convictions for indecent exposure in 2004, another one in 2006, one public lewdness and another indecent exposure in 2008. And court records show he's homeless.

Prosecutors have now charged him with the felony of failure to register as a sexual offender, but he's not in jail. He's out on bond.

We called Judge Shawna Reagan to talk about the Salas case. She accused us of ambushing her over the telephone. Then she hung up.

Hey Judge Reagan, you might want to know that Mr. Salas was charged with another crime yesterday. His bond is now set at $1 million dollars.

We found other Harris County flashers missing from the DPS website, like Terry Matthew Davis; three convictions. It made us wonder why we don't register sex offenders when we have them in custody, rather than to trust the pervert to do it himself within seven days of release.

"I think that's a question you have to ask the people who make the rules," said Judge Standley. "That's something I can't comment on."

So we went to Austin.

"That makes just a whole lot of common sense and I'm going to do what it takes to look into that and see what we need to do to make that occur," said State Rep. Debbie Riddle.

That way, folks could at least see the picture of Sean Alphonso Harris. He has three indecent exposure convictions.

"I think those folks, they're sick," said Rep. Riddle.

And that's why guys like John Skiles scare the heck out of their neighbors. What could he do next?

"You no longer get that excitement from that first step. You have to progress to another step," said Boros.

Like Luis Adelfo Telles. He had three indecent exposure convictions. Then he graduated to sexual assault of a child.

"Every day you live in fear," said Skiles' neighbor.

Oh, by the way. Eunius Johnson has now been charged with failure to register as a sex offender. The DPS revoked his registration in January 2008. But the Harris County criminal justice system failed you. Johnson was arrested in April on charges of indecent exposure, convicted, sent to jail and then released. He could have been charged with a felony then, but he wasn't. Mr. Johnson committed another indecent exposure three days later.

"To do that over and over again, you gotta be sick," said Rep. Riddle.

Don't like being kept in the dark. Think indecent exposure should be a felony if you do it time and time again? Contact your legislator. Here's the link.

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