- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 7, 2004

DALLAS — One of Texas’ most notorious child molesters will be released on parole next week, but some officials say he shouldn’t be considered a threat to children anymore.

David Wayne Jones, 33, who as a YMCA counselor in the early 1990s molested more than 40 young boys, was castrated last week — a procedure some claim vastly negates sexual urges.

Judy Johnson, director of the sex-offender treatment program in the state prison system, said Jones had “matured” since his 1991 imprisonment and seemed ready to re-enter society. She said the castration, plus continuing therapy, would probably “help him control his urges.”

Officials say Jones also has been under constant medication with Lupron, an often-prescribed testosterone-suppressing drug. Dr. Key Stage, a professor of urology at the University of Texas’ Southwestern Medical School here, said either castration or such a drug should reduce a person’s sex drive, but “it’s not foolproof.”

Dr. Stage said he has had “patients who had lost both testicles, either from malignancy or trauma, and they could still get an erection.” He added that libido and sex drive might be lessened after castration, “but I don’t necessarily think it’s a guaranteed, foolproof thing that a man would never get stimulated.”

That doesn’t rest well with some of Jones’ victims.

“How do we really know this guy won’t snap and go seeking again?” asked one victim. The young man, now 27 and a secondary-school teacher, said he was molested by Jones at a camp run by the YMCA.

“I’d hate to trust my students around this guy, castration or pills or whatever,” he said. “People like this should be locked up, away from normal kids.”

Jones’ castration came as somewhat of a surprise, because prior to this he had spoken freely about it on several occasions and steadfastly rejected the idea.

About four years ago, Jones was paroled, only to be reincarcerated when authorities found he was involved in sexual activity with a fellow halfway-house resident. At that time, when confronted with the option of castration, he told authorities he didn’t see the need because he realized it was not acceptable to rape children.

In an interview at the time with the Dallas Morning News, he said: “I don’t think that castration helps at all. Rape starts with the thoughts. That’s where you need to be castrated.”

After a change of mind, last Monday Jones became the second prisoner in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to opt for castration. The first was a prisoner still incarcerated and serving a life sentence. His name has not been made public.

Texas is the only state that allows castration. It was not known where the operation last week took place.

Whether Jones might commit sexual assault again may become a moot point after all.

He has been charged with still another assault — the purported molestation of a 5-year-old day camper on a field trip at a local lake. The judge in the case said he would examine Jones’ situation carefully before allowing bail.

If convicted, Jones could be sentenced to 99 years in prison. He will remain in the county jail while those pretrial motions are argued. In 1991, Jones pleaded guilty to several charges of indecency with children and one charge of aggravated sexual assault on another youth in exchange for a 15-year prison sentence.

Pressure from some newly surfaced victims and the community ended with his confessions to other such crimes and the state tacked on an additional 15-year sentence. However, the latter sentence was to run concurrently and not affect his prison-release date.

Jones’ attorney said Friday the new charges violated the agreement made during the plea bargain. He called the new charge, filed more than two years ago, “nothing new.” Though the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office says it intends to take the case to trial in June, some lawyers wonder about a near-certain defense motion that will claim he didn’t get a speedy trial.

Under Texas law, prosecutors must be ready to go to trial within 180 days of a felony indictment. There is no record that any attempt was made for more than two years to try this case.

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