Angelina County courts require sex offender assessment for some cases

By Morgan Thomas - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – Keeping up with probationers isn't an east task. Tracking sex offenders is even harder.

"We don't want to go overboard, but we don't want to fall short either," said Dustin Fore, Angelina Co. Probation, Supervisor of Specialized Caseworkers.

Dustin Fore takes his job for the Angelina County Probation Department very seriously. He and sex offender officer,Lisa Page, aren't ignoring a blatant problem.

"There have been some cases in the past that slipped through the cracks," said Page.

They hoped to stop this, with a request to all judges in the county: a new standard in dealing with specific child sex assault cases.

The probation office is essentially targeting cases where the Angelina County District Attorney's office has to plea them down from something like 'aggravated sex assault to a child' to 'injury of a child'... which doesn't automatically red flag them for sex offender status.

Fore explained there are several reasons for this including cases based on he said/she said evidence or reluctant parents.

"You don't want to re-victimize the victim."

Now, anyone who pleads down will have to undergo an assessment.

"A sexual interest and treatment needs assessment. There's a social interview and background interview and sexual history," said Page.

It uncovers any sexual fixation involving children and violence.

"Once we get the report back from that treatment provider we will determine what conditions to be added and we'll send that over to the judge," said Fore.

Those that are labeled sex offenders, means intense supervision.

"We don't want anymore victims. If somebody has the potential to re-offend we need to figure it out quick," said Page.

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