Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Latest News

January 11, 2013

Dauben found guilty Friday

Sentencing to continue Monday

Corsicana — A Navarro County jury found Joseph “Joey” Dauben guilty Friday of three counts of sexual assault of a child and one count of indecency with a child.

Dauben, 31, didn’t react when the jury’s decision came back after two hours of deliberation in the 13th District Court. However, almost immediately began the punishment phase of the trial, and Dauben cried on the witness stand as he described his various activities as publisher of the online newspaper The Ellis County Observer.

Dauben testified that he had investigated sexual abuse allegations at a halfway house in Ellis County, Kevin’s House, and had seen it closed down as a result. He claimed to be investigating a child pornography ring in Ellis County that was connected to three cases of missing children.

He called it the “most evil, evil stuff,” and said: “Nothing’s being done about it.”

Dauben testified that as a publisher he had criticized the Ellis County District Judge and District Attorney for giving child sex offenders probation. Instead, Dauben had urged giving sex offenders an automatic death penalty. He said he’s since had a change of heart.

Under cross examination by Assistant District Attorney Andrew Wolf, Dauben said it would be hypocritical of him to ask for probation when he hadn’t been merciful to men in his same position just a year or two ago.

“I couldn’t agree with you more, Mr. Dauben, pass this witness,” Wolf said smoothly.

When his defense attorney, Ed Jendrzey, asked Dauben if he was asking the jury for probation, Dauben paused for more than two minutes, looking at the floor and pursing his lips before saying that if the jury were to hold him to the same standards to which he had held convicted sex offenders in Ellis County then they would not give him probation.

“If you’d be merciful and give me probation, that’s great,” he said. “If you were to hold me to the same standards as the Ellis County Observer, then no.”

Dauben described one case in which he falsely accused a man of sexually abusing his children based on the word of the man’s estranged wife. In that instance, he was arrested and convicted of the fraudulent use of identifying information in Ellis County.

“I made a mistake,” he said. “I falsely accused a man of the same thing I’m accused of.”

At that time, Dauben was put on probation and told he couldn’t get on the Internet anymore. His probation was revoked when the newspapers continued publishing. Dauben said he didn’t do it, though.

It was unclear Friday evening if Dauben realized the irony of the situation — that he claims to be falsely accused, just as he falsely accused others; that he advocated the death penalty for child predators, but asked for mercy for himself after he was convicted of it; that within half an hour of his conviction, he took the stand and cried as he described his role as sole defender of children.

“I’ve learned I’m not a judge,” he said. “I didn’t have mercy on people. I was not forgiving of people.”

These revelations came to him the second time he went to jail, Dauben said.

Dauben also said he accepted the jury’s decision, but he refused to admit having sexually assaulted a 14-year-old boy in 2007 while at a church retreat at Navarro Mills Reservoir, insisting that he was falsely accused. When Wolf asked him if the purpose of probation wasn’t rehabilitation, and wasn’t a necessity of rehab that the person admit guilt, Dauben dithered and finally said yes, adding: “I’m not going to admit to something I didn’t do.”

The punishment phase of the case will continue at 9 a.m. Monday in District Court. Meanwhile, Dauben is semi-free, released, but wearing an electronic ankle monitor.

In closing arguments, both sides pointed out the long delay in the investigation being presented to the district attorney — the incident allegedly happened on Sept. 30, 2007 — as well as the questionability of at least one witness, but the case ultimately came down to which of the two witnesses was more credible — Dauben or his accuser.

Wolf pointed to the different explanations that Dauben had for why the young man would allege sexual assault, including at least two conspiracy theories involving various Ellis County officials.

Meanwhile, Jendrzey highlighted the emotional trauma of the accuser following the boy’s parents’ divorce prior to the alleged incident, along with his unstable home-life and absentee father.

“This is a strange case,” Jendrzey said. “Joey is a political firestarter.”


Janet Jacobs may be reached via email at Want to “soundoff” to this article? Email:

Text Only
Latest News
  • 4-24-14 Peaches.jpg Peach crops largely unhurt by late freeze

    COLLEGE STATION – There were varied reports of damage to wheat, forages and fruit and nut crops from the hard freeze on April 15 from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service personnel throughout the Central, Rolling Plains, South Plains and Panhandle regions.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-23-14 DerrickDays.jpg Derrick Days: Downtown Chowdown

    Derrick Days is ready to go, with events escalating everyday until the big Saturday celebration, with dozens of activities that day alone.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-23-14 TownHall.jpg Navarro College Town Hall shares updates

    Reaching out to the community, inviting the civic groups to the campus, and doing a better job of sharing the story of Navarro College were some of the ideas brought up at a college Town Hall event held Monday.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • CISD board hears facilities study results

    The long-awaited CISD facilities report from the Texas Association of School Boards was delivered, at least in a short form, Monday at the Corsicana board of trustees meeting.

    April 22, 2014

  • Train accident victim identified

    A 61-year-old Corsicana man was taken to Parkland Hospital Monday night after he was struck by a train as he tried to cross a railroad track on foot.

    April 22, 2014

  • Report: West plant explosion preventable

    The fertilizer plant explosion that killed 15 people last year in a tiny Texas town could have been prevented, even if it's still not clear what started an initial fire that triggered the blast, federal officials said Tuesday.

    April 22, 2014

  • Local Beat for 4/23/14

    A listing of meetings and events of interest from throughout Navarro County

    April 22, 2014

  • DPS urges online driver's license renewal

    Renewing a Texas driver's license doesn't necessarily mean waiting in long lines or prepping your best photo ID look for the camera. The Department of Public Safety on Tuesday urged residents to renew online and beat the typical summer rush at driver's license offices.

    April 22, 2014

  • Agency report on West blast to be released

    It has been a year since a fire caused a huge explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant that killed 15 people, yet companies in the state can still store hazardous chemicals in flammable wooden containers in buildings without sprinklers and volunteer firefighters like those who rushed into that plant still aren't required to train how to fight such fires.

    April 22, 2014

  • 4-22-14 Aldis.jpg ALDI gets set for May 1 opening

    The much anticipated opening of a new ALDI Grocery store in Corsicana is just two weeks away.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs
Twitter Updates