Absconding child molester coming to a town near you

Rusk, TX:
In 2007, Cherokee County District Attorney Elmer Beckworth offered deferred adjudication to a child molester charged with the 2002 aggravated sexual assault of a 6-year old female relative.  As part of Beckworth's probation deal James Christopher Schlater failed to stay registered as a sex offender, and instead used his freedom to abscond all they way to California.  In 2011 he was picked up out of state, re-sentenced for the 3rd time in Cherokee County, and has since been incarcerated in State prison on a 15 year penalty. He was eligible for parole in June 2018 (Courtesty TDCJ).

James C. Schlater was also arrested in Weber County, Utah on April 25, 2011 during his travels according to online records, then later nabbed in Santa Clara County, CA as a Fugitive from Justice. Case Number: C1094553 Filing Date: 12/13/2010  

Texas Penal Code - PENAL § 22.021. Aggravated Sexual Assault

Lies and excuses have been given over the years, claiming the victim was too young to testify, etc; however the fact is James Schlater was indigent and had a court appointed attorney the entire time. While Beckworth's former Assistant Rachel Patton was District Attorney, she admitted to the Jacksonville Progress  "what led to the plea was he violated the terms and conditions of his probation.”  In other words, Schlater's initial charges of INDECENCY WITH A MINOR resulted in slap-on-the-wrist probation that he violated. So they retooled his charges to AGGRAVATED SEXUAL ASSAULT and told him to register as a sex offender with Adult Probation. Which of course he did not.

The 2nd Judicial District Court signed off on the agreement despite the flight risk and the risk to the public. It was just easier to let a child molester run off unsupervised for months at a time than to formally sentence him. Bashful reporters did not ask why MANDATORY SENTENCING wasn't applied to the aggravated sexual assault of a 6-year old girl when Jessica's Law was enacted earlier in July 2007.
When he [Schlater] failed to report to his probation officer in July 2010, he violated his probation. Authorities found Schlater in California in January [2011], arrested him and brought him back to Cherokee County. “The court defers a formal finding of guilt and he’s placed on probation,” Patton said.
“If he violates that probation he understands that the court has the discretion to sentence him anywhere in the entire range of punishment.” Rather than have a hearing, Schlater accepted a plea bargain. (Source: Daily Progress, June 4, 2011)


Criminal Docket; Case 15724 ; INDECENCY W/CHILD SEXUAL CONTACT WITH 6-YEAR OLD THE STATE OF TEXAS vs SCHLATER, JAMES CHRISTOPHER Filed 06/28/2004 - Disposition: 01/02/2007 2nd District Court,  Cherokee County, Texas

Criminal Docket; Case 16630 ; AGG SEXUAL ASSAULT THE STATE OF TEXAS vs SCHLATER, JAMES CHRISTOPHER Filed 10/23/2006 - Disposition: 10/10/2007 Deferred adjudication 2nd District Court, Cherokee County, Texas

Criminal Docket; Case 18027 ; SEX OFFENDERS DUTY TO REGISTER LIFE/ANNUALLY THE STATE OF TEXAS vs SCHLATER, JAMES CHRISTOPHER Filed 03/28/2011 - Disposition: 05/12/2011 Dismissed-insufficient evidence 2nd District Court, Cherokee County, Texas  

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