Senator reacts to Fox 26 investigation - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Senator reacts to Fox 26 investigation into paroled sex predators

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

Serial rapist John Michael Enard left more settling in the dust than his GPS tracking device when he jumped the fence for freedom.

Unanswered questions littered his path like why was a man who still had 50 years left to serve behind bars living in a Houston halfway house in the first place.

"Enard bared no bones as to who and what he is," said crime victims advocate Andy Kahan. "A career criminal whose got a rap sheet a mile long."

Since Enard apparently told prison officials he would rape again, he got a dubious distinction 5 months before he was paroled. He was civilly committed.

That's a program lawmakers came up with in the late 90's as a way to keep track of what the state calls, "the worst of the worst."

"They understood that there was this extremely small dangerous population of sex offenders out there that had a behavior abnormality that makes them likely to commit future acts of predatory sexual violence," said Allison Taylor director of the state's civil commitment program.

Enard is one of just 272 sexually violent predators that have ever been civilly committed in the entire state.

"Why did he ever get paroled in the first place? That's a very reasonable question," State Senator John Whitmire said.

Whitmire was a major force in creating the state's civil commitment program.

"And we expected those people to have served their sentence," Whitmire points out.

In fact the whole purpose of the program the senator said was a way to keep track of Texas' most dangerous serial rapists and child molesters after they had to be released.

"On the surface it just doesn't make sense to say ok we're going to parole a civilly committed sexually violent predator," Fox 26 Investigates asked the senator who replied," it should not happen."

Our questions about Enard caused us to uncover 10 other dangerous decisions that don't seem to make sense. That's how many other sexually violent predators we've found that got a big fat yes when they asked the parole board to let them leave prison before serving all their time.

"These people are very scary scary people," we pointed out to parole program director Stuart Jenkins.

"They were deemed to be civilly committed and yes," responded Jenkins.

But being deemed to have an abnormality that makes them highly likely to reoffend didn't seem to phase parole board members who gave all these sexually violent predators a big break.

"The fact that you had all this information and you still chose to release this person defies logic," Kahan said.

The 11 paroled include Norman Evers who hadn't even served a third of his 99 year sentence for raping women.

 

According to documents we obtained one of the reasons parole members approved Evers was because he completed a vocational program in prison.

That begs the question who would hire Evers or any of these other sexually violent predators since they will likely be under civil commitment their entire life's.

"I learned about it through you and that's not a good system," Whitmire said.

Senator Whitmire who serves as chair of the senate criminal justice committee said no one with T.D.C.J. told him Enard's status after he absconded.

"The parole board has some explaining to do," we said to Whitmire who replied, "Of course, of course."

It wasn't his decision to release them but we still asked Stuart Jenkins, director of the state's parole division what he thought.

"Why would anybody open the door and let them out does that make sense," we asked Jenkins who said nothing.

The director's silent stare is more than we've gotten from parole board members who decided to release these dangerous predators. They've been dodging us like a bullet.

"I'll be honest with you the parole board nor the civil commitment agency are really giving good answers," Whitmire said.

Even if it takes senate hearings, the long time lawmaker vows these dangerous dumbfounding decisions are coming to an end.

"I promise you in the near term you will not be on parole and civil commitment," said Whitmire.

 

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