Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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January 25, 2013

Dauben must serve 15 years before parole chance

Corsicana — Joseph “Joey” Dauben, 31, will have to serve 15 years before he will be eligible for parole from prison, according to a sentence handed down Friday by 13th District Judge James Lagomarsino in Navarro County.

The jury found Dauben guilty of three counts of sexual assault of a child and one count of indecency with a child on Jan. 11, but the judge had resolved to do some study of whether or not the punishments would run concurrently, meaning he’d only have to serve a minimum of five years, or consecutively.

The sentence the jury gave was 10 years for each of the assaults and 10 years probation for the indecency charge.

In the final arguments, Assistant District Attorney Andrew Wolf argued that the jury wanted the terms to be served separately, or stacked one on top of another, rather than served all at once.

“At the end of the day what this court has to look at is Mr. Dauben is like any other pedophile,” Wolf said. “There’s nothing special or unique about him.”

Dauben’s own attorney agreed that this wasn’t a special situation, but he argued that the offense was one instance, that Dauben hadn’t been a repeat offender and that his previous encounters with the law hadn’t had anything to do with sexual assault.

In the end, it was the judge who ordered the sentences to run consecutively. If granted parole, Dauben could be out in 15 years, but he will then have to start his 10 years of probation. He had an additional probation charge from Ellis County.

Before the second sentence was read, Jendrzey objected, stating that stacking the sentences was a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s eighth amendment, which precludes cruel and unusual punishment, a federal case.

In addition, the judge also accepted a declaration of indigence from Dauben, asking the court to appoint another attorney for his appeal.

Jendrzey said he was disappointed in the result, but he wouldn’t be handling the appeal himself.

“I didn’t want it to be stacked,” he said following the hearing. “I felt 10 years was fair.”

Prosecutor Andrew Wolf, however, said he was relieved to have the case finished. It has taken more than a year to bring it to trial and  have it settled, Wolf said.

“(The victim) will be glad he was believed and it was right to make the outcry,” Wolf said.

The victim, now 19, lives in Dallas and is in counseling, Wolf said. “He can now move on with his life, and have some kind of a reasonable adulthood.”

The victim was 14 when the incident took place at a church retreat on Navarro Mills Reservoir, but the Corsicana Daily Sun doesn’t identify victims of sexual assault, no matter what their age.

“Navarro County jurors have sent a message that they don’t tolerate people who abuse children, and especially if it’s sexual,” Wolf said.

District Attorney Lowell Thompson said he was proud of the work done by the prosecuting team of Wolf and Amy Cadwell on the case.

“It was a team effort between Amy and Andrew, and they did a good job,” Thompson said. He added that there were complications with the case, considering the multiple allegations that Dauben had made towards prosecutors, judges and probation department officials in Ellis County in the past. Dauben alleged that the various county officials, including the district judge in Ellis County, were in on a human trafficking ring, amongst the many allegations he lodged in that county through his on-line newspaper “The Ellis County Observer.”

“I think they did a good job especially with the questions Mr. Dauben always brought up about the criminal justice system,” Thompson said.

     —————

Janet Jacobs may be reached via e-mail at jjacobs@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “sound off” to this article? E-mail: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com

 

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