LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Lufkin man who was being held in the Angelina County Jail on a $1 million bond on three child sexual assault cases is now walking free after pleading guilty to lesser charges.
Joseph Michael Weeks, 19, pleaded guilty to three counts of injury to a child and accepted a 10-year probation sentence.
Hudson Police arrested Weeks in July 2010 after he and a 13-year-old girl got high on cough syrup. The girl said Weeks then forced himself on her at a house in Hudson, even when she told him to stop. Weeks later told police he did have sex with the girl, but that the sex was mutual and he did not force himself on her.
Weeks was out on bond on the charge when he was arrested again, this time by Lufkin Police, in February, following an investigation into a December allegation that he touched a 15-year-old girl in her private area in the theater of Lufkin Mall. The girl then performed oral sex on him in the theater.
Weeks' attorney, Ryan Deaton, said the lesser charge means Weeks will not have to register for life as a sex offender.
"We're happy with the outcome," Deaton said.
Deaton said his client is learning from his mistakes.
"I think he has a lot of sympathy, and he's very sorry for what's happened," Deaton said. "And, he says and acts as though he wants to change and be a better person and do what he's supposed to do to be a productive member of society."
During his four months in jail, weeks underwent an evaluation by a psychologist -- revealing anti-social personality traits. More counseling is being ordered.
"I think it's fair," Deaton said. "I mean, it's a tough case. He's a kid. He's 19. And, although I realize he's made a mistake and broken the law, I'm not sure anybody thought it was just a great idea to make him a sex offender at 19."
Weeks may not have to register as a sex offender, but District Judge Barry Bryan ordered him to sex offender therapy and he cannot go places were children gather.
If he violates the probation terms, Weeks could face up to 20 years in prison.