Mother's warning: Predator cases dropped

By Keith Garvin - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - Pending cases against accused sexual predators are being dropped, and some are even being released from jail.

The reason is a ruling Local 2 told you about last week that allows adults to talk dirty to minors and send them sexually explicit material online.

A local mother who didn't want to be identified said she knew something was wrong when her then 12-year-old daughter started receiving text messages through an online game from a young man the mother didn't know. The messages from the then 19-year-old man started off highly inappropriate, considering he knew the girl was only 12.

"When you feel like your child is being taken advantage of by an adult you're angry to the point of violence," the mother said. "But we weren't going to take that road."

The conversations grew more inappropriate. In a mutual conversation about sex and the 19-year-old's ex-girlfriend he wrote, "Ure personality is better than hers but u r 12 which is illegal, but in a hypothetical since probably u. i will show u the ropes..."

Then he asked if she had ever seen a male body part.

Prosecutor Warren Diepraam of the Montgomery County District Attorney's office said last week's ruling by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals will seriously hamper the efforts of law enforcement to protect children from online predators.

"Police officers, prosecutors believed the statute to be constitutional," said Diepraam. "So they were making cases on it. There are probably people in prison that may be getting out because of the court of criminal appeals ruling."

The ruling forced Harris County prosecutors to drop the charges against the 19-year-old in the unidentified woman's case. But she's speaking out with a warning and advice for other parents.

"Talk to your kids. And invade their privacy because it's for their own good."

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