Almost 100 Parolees are now wanted fugitives after fleeing Houst - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Almost 100 Parolees are now wanted fugitives after fleeing Houston Halfway House

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

Serial rapist John Michael Enard has been on the run now for 117 days.

He became one of Texas's most wanted sex offenders soon after ditching his ankle monitor and jumping the fence at this halfway house on Beaumont Highway.

Why?

Because Enard is just one of 272 rapists and child molesters considered so deviant and dangerous the state had them civilly committed as sexually violent predators.

"We're dealing with the worst of the worst the most dangerous population of sex offenders," said Allison Taylor, director of the state's civil commitment program.

Fox 26 Investigates later learned Enard is one of 11 sexually violent predators the parole board actually allowed to leave prison early by granting parole.

When he absconded from the halfway house we were told Enard was under the most intensive form of parole supervision possible and was also under constant monitoring by the state's civil commitment program.

"I'd like to know who in the hell was looking after him that particular day," said State Senator John Whitmire.

Fearing Enard will keep his vow to rape again is the state's primary reason for tracking him down.

Another possible reason might be to shut me up.

Enard's the reason we found out the parole board was giving some sexually violent predators a break.

That dangerous practice was brought to a screeching halt by Whitmire.

"We're not talking about a shop lifter here," the state senator said. "We're talking about a sexual offender two or more offenses."

Enard's flight for freedom also prompted us to ask the state just how many other sex offenders and various paroled felons have fled from the halfway house once called The Reid Center.

Get this. In just over the last two years 719 convicted felons were at one time considered absconders from the halfway house.

The halfway house is not a lockdown facility.

"You don't have guards manning towers," said crime victims advocate Andy Kahan.

But yet the criminals sent there are still serving their sentences.

"If you had some 700 odd people break out of a prison facility we all know what would happen," Kahan said. "Everybody's eyes and ears would be on the lookout."

But the Texas Department of Criminal Justice does nothing to alert the public about paroled criminals from this halfway house.

Of course Enard is an exception because of his status as a sexually violent predator.

But we found scores of other sex offenders who ran from the old Reid Center and the state told no one.

In fact we had to pay the state money to gather the information since T.D.C.J. says it doesn't keep a running tally of wanted fugitives from the halfway house.

"If you really truly found out what was going on how many people are missing like you're pointing out now the public they'd be up in arms," Kahan said.

Out of the 719 paroled criminals who were named in fugitive warrants in the last 27 months, the bulk are either back at the halfway house or in jail facing possible parole revocation.

But according to the state's information 92 of the paroled convicts remain wanted fugitives.

No one knows where they are or what they are doing.

"And of that number one third of those are either violent offenders and or sex offenders," Kahan said. "That's a pretty high number."

The convicted sex offenders now considered fugitives by the state include 61-year-old Robert Kaska, convicted of molesting a 15-year-old girl.

50-year-old David Lee Williams also convicted in a sexual attack involving a 15-year-old and 29-year-old Douglas Raymond Lopez who went to prison for sexually assaulting a 4-year-old boy.

"I've never been happy with the current status of halfway houses in the state," Whitmire said.

The state senator says it's time to consider other ways to house and watch sex offenders and other dangerous criminals who've been paroled but aren't ready to live on their own.

"The general concept of a halfway house needs to be revisited," said Whitmire.

 

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