- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 17, 2004

DALLAS — The man on record as the city’s worst child molester was indicted Wednesday on two charges of aggravated sexual assault on two boys more than a decade ago, a move that at least temporarily silenced the debate and anger here.

David Wayne Jones was formally accused of sexually molesting a 5-year-old boy during a YMCA field trip and a 6-year-old in a restroom at the area YMCA. Both incidents purportedly occurred in 1990.

The 33-year-old former YMCA counselor is on record as Dallas’ worst child molester after he admitted to sodomizing more than 40 victims in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

In 1991, he pleaded guilty and received a 15-year sentence in state prison for the second-degree felonies. At the time, complaints that the sentence was too lenient led to predictions that someday he would be free again, probably not “cured” and still a threat to youngsters.

There also were reports of additional victims, some too embarrassed to come forward.

But on June 3, Jones was released on mandatory parole and assigned to a halfway house near downtown Dallas. He had served more than 13 years of his term.

Although officials assured the public that he would be closely monitored and unable to go outside without supervision, many feared that the supervision could become lax. Others noted that in 2006, when his 15 years were finished, Jones would walk out a free man.

Now Jones faces first-degree felony charges, which could send him back to prison for life if he is convicted. This case, however, is years in the making.

In November 2001, when prison authorities were warning locals that mandatory parole would be available for Jones in 2004, District Attorney William Hill assured the public that his office was prepared.

Later that month, Mr. Hill’s office filed charges against Jones of sexual assault on a child, a first-degree felony. However, a district judge earlier this month tossed out the November 2001 case, saying the district attorney’s office had waited too long and had done nothing in 31 months toward trying Jones on the new charges.

The assistant district attorney assigned to handle the case said he just got “too busy with other important trials.”

The situation caused more public consternation, beginning with renewed complaints about the unusually generous plea bargain, then extending to what one person called “arrogant dereliction of duty” in the district attorney’s office.

But a new prosecutor, Patricia Hogue, announced new developments and re-filed the first-degree felony charges against Jones.

Within hours, a grand jury had come in with the new charges and sheriff’s deputies picked up Jones at the halfway house and delivered him back to county jail. Jones’ attorney, Tom Pappas, did not return phone calls yesterday.

A source in the district attorney’s office said the new charges would be more serious than those originally confessed to by Jones. The 1991 plea agreement covered only the second-degree felonies of indecency with a child.

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