Sex offender jailed on new charges

January 7, 2011 4:42:04 PM PST
A 36-year-old sex offender from Conroe faces charges for allegedly luring a 12-year-old boy from West University. The suspect is in the Harris County jail and has been since late December. He is charged with solicitation of a minor and taking liberties with a child. We do know this isn't the first time he's been in trouble for something like this.

For a West University family, a nightmare is their reality -- Rudy Erik Candia, 36, is charged with soliciting their preteen boy online and then secretly meeting him.

Officer Phil Clark of the West University Place Police Department said, "He contacted the victim through use of Facebook and also through the use of a cellular telephone, and basically lured him out of his house one evening."

But this is not the first time Candia has faced these kinds of charges. He is a registered sex offender from a case involving a 14-year-old boy a decade ago. His most recent home, where he was arrested, is in Conroe. For $165 a week he was renting a room from Mary Lou Wiswell. She was there when police showed up to arrest him.

She said, "I did not know he was a registered sex offender or had any history that way."

Wiswell says Candia was a tenant for three months. She'd advertised the vacancy on the website and until the arrest didn't suspect anything was wrong.

She said, "I feel betrayed by him. You know, if I made that choice knowing that, that's different. But naturally I wouldn't have rented to him anyway then."

Police say aside from the boy's statement, they also have evidence that Candia's intentions were bad.

"There were text messages that were inappropriate and also photographs that were sent," Officer Clark explained.

The West University police have been in contact with the FBI. Candia's phone and computer are being searched by FBI investigators. Candia is being held without bond.

We worked on this story through our partnership with Houston Community Newspapers. You can read more in the West University Examiner.