A man accused of sexually abusing his six-year old relative more than four years ago was indicted by a grand jury last week, Galveston County officials said.
Duane Charles Parker,49, was arrested on Aug. 13 as part of a separate investigation by Montgomery County Precinct 4 Constables involving allegations that he was preying on young girls though Facebook in 2012.
He was charged with two counts of online solicitation of a minor and put in the Montgomery County Jail with bonds totaling $200,000.
According to the Montgomery County Precinct 4 Constables Office, Parker was sending pre-teen girls explicit photos of himself and requesting they sent explicit videos to him.
As part of the multi-agency investigation, several of Parker's computers were seized from his home in Lafayette, LA.
During the investigation, authorities became aware of the 2008 allegation against Parker and alerted Galveston County officials.
According to the Galveston County Sheriff's Office, it's 2008 investigation found there was reason to believe Parker had sexually assaulted his then-6 year old relative and sent the case to the District Attorney's office.
"At that time (2008), the recommendation was made to present this case to a grand jury," Galveston Sheriff's Office Maj. Ray Tuttoilmondo said. "What happened with this case from that point, we're not 100 percent sure."
What is clear, is that case was never presented to a grand jury and Parker's case essentially fell through the cracks for the next four years.
"The case fell through the cracks," Maj. Ray Tuttoilmondo said. "Shortly after the case, Hurricane Ike hit and there was a number of services that involved things on the island that included the criminal justice system, that kind of went through some delays because of the storm.
I'm not trying to use that as an excuse but is that what caused this particular case to fall through the cracks? We don't know."
Current Galveston County District Attorney Jack Roady wasn't employed with the DA's office in 2008 but he did provide this statement:
"When it became clear that there was still an unresolved investigation from 2008, our first priority was to get the evidence presented to the grand jury. Last week, a Galveston County grand jury heard that evidence and indicted Parker for the offense of aggravated sexual assault of a child. We are also working with the Sheriff’s Office to get to the bottom of what happened with the investigation back in 2008. We will aggressively pursue this case to see that justice is done."
Roady and Tuttoilmondo agree that communication between the agencies have improved since 2008.
"Things have changed since four years ago," Maj. Ray Tuttoilmondo said. "There's better communication with the prosecutors. Better communication with the district attorney's office as a whole. This is an unfortunate set of circumstances and it certainly gives us pause to take a look at the entirety of the system so that we don't have something like this happen again. We need to figure out what happened with it first."
According to Montgomery County Precinct 4 Constables Office, with Parker at the time of his arrest Aug. 13, was the same little girl who had accused him abusing her in 2008.
Precinct 4 investigators said that they believe it's likely there may be other victims out there and they encourage anyone with information, to call the Montgomery County Constables Office at (281) 577-8985.