High Risk Sex Offenders, Who Is Watching Them?

Our in-depth series on sex offenders in our community continues with a look at the agencies charged with keeping tabs on these people in Wichita County.

We've shown you the 'lost' sex offenders and took you to parts of the Falls with the highest sex offender populations. Now, we are looking at the sex offenders considered 'high-risk.'

In this Newschannel 6 exclusive, Lindsey Rogers is breaking down how those risks are determined and exactly how the system works, including who supervises sex offenders, if anyone at all.

"You just can't look at somebody and tell whether they're a sex offender or not and that's what is so difficult, we've had businessmen, teachers, lawyers, any career is going to have, has the potential to have a petefile in that field," District Attorney Elect Maureen Shelton said.

"They're going to go to Wal Mart, they're going to be in the grocery store, they could be at your dinner table and you not know it," treatment provider Emily Orozco said.

More times than not, experts say sex crime victims know their abuser. It's people they know and trust, sometimes living under the same roof.

"Sexual abuse cases are the most difficult cases to try because there are not usually witnesses and we rarely obtain DNA so it's basically the victims word against the defendants word and the defendant doesn't have to take the stand and doesn't have to give a statement at all," Shelton said.

She said one of the most surprising cases she had to prosecute was involving someone she had worked with often, and the community trusted.

"Police officer, we had a police officer here in Wichita Falls that I worked with and he had sexually assaulted a relative of his many years prior and she finally disclosed when she was an adult in counseling and that started the ball rolling and I tried the case in front of a jury and they ended up giving him ten years in prison. So that was something that was surprising because during the day he would put his badge on and arrest these same people that were doing the same acts as him he was just doing them at night without his badge on," Shelton said.

She said she doesn't think people want to believe this type of thing happens in our community.

And that's what makes it so hard to pick a jury.

If a person is sentenced for a sex crime, usually they either serve time in prison or serve probation.

One of the first steps once they enter the system is determining a sex offenders risk level.

Officers use this 10 question test called the Static 99.

Whether the person knew their victim, the age and sex of the victim, the age of the abuser at the time of the act and if there is a certain level of criminal history all depends on whether the sex offender is considered a low, moderate or high risk.

"Anyone who has addictions that lead them to criminal offenses and they don't control them are going to be high risk and I think they continue to be high risk. Is there a guarantee they will never have a relapse or re-offend, no guarantee there," Wichita County Probation Director Dave Johnson said.

If and when they re-enter society, several agencies are involved.

If their court order requires them to register as a sex offender they must do that with the designated city or county law enforcement officer, depending on where they live.

"It depends on what they were convicted of and the final court orders, some of them are weekly, some are annually, monthly, we have various time frames they have to come in and check with us," Sgt. Ginger Gilmore with the Wichita Falls Police said.

"Registered or not, if they come out of court with a sex offense then we supervise based on the court order, and most of those are in treatment program which the department sets up and then we have an intensive supervision program with a designated officer who works with that group of folks," Johnson said.

That probation officer is currently supervising about 50 sex offenders in Wichita County, 35 of those are in treatment.

He sees those individuals at least three times a month face-to-face.

At least one of those meetings must take place in the field, which means the officer randomly checks in on the sex offender either at home or work.

The same is required for sex offenders on parole.

Other conditions that apply to those on probation or parole could include treatment, restrictions on employment in a sexually oriented business or volunteer activities, no pornography use, no contact with their victim.

They're also not allowed to attend an institution of higher education without approval and polygraph testing.

Right now, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, there are 14 people on parole in Wichita County.

"I think the false sense of security is that every sex offender is registered. And that if you get on the registration list you know where every sex offender in the community is and that's not true because there's only a certain number of people who are required to register based on offense. So there's a lot of sex offenders out there who never were required to register based on offense or their time of requirement for registering has ended and they're no longer required to," Johnson said.

One thing many don't realize is once a sex offender has completed their probation or parole or served their sentence out in prison, they are no longer under supervision.

That means their only requirement is to re-register for the database for as long and often as their court order.

" Now, the issue really is did they learn anything in treatment, did they gather the tools and apply the tools while on probation while we monitor them that we felt at least reasonably comfortable that they were practicing the kind of behaviors that would keep them from re-offending. That what we hope and that's what we try to teach," Johnson said.

Wednesday night Lindsey sits down face to face with a sex offender who shares his story.

He tells us how he's trying to recover.

"What we do in this program, what we learn is how to think. How to think correctly, not have deviant thoughts, but have healthy thoughts. We learn to examine ourselves and examine our thinking and change our thinking and monitor that thinking every minute of the day."

We're talking with a counselor to hear all the things required of these sex offenders during treatment and are asking the big question, can these individuals change?

Law Enforcement officers need your help catching this most wanted sex offender in Texoma.

22-year-old Jonathan Guadalupe Cantu is wanted for violation of probation for sexual assault of a child and violation of probation for burglary of a habitation.

He is 5'8'', 170lbs. with black hair and brown eyes.

He has a "Texas" tattoo on his upper left arm and a "Soccer #8" on his upper right arm.

If you have any information that may lead to the capture and arrest of Jonathan Cantu you are asked to call the Wichita County Adult Probation Department at (940) 766-8213.

Jonathan Cantu, 22 years old