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Local man guilty of indecency, given 12 years

Judge Barney Fudge, 78th District Court, Wichita County, on Thursday sentenced an Iowa Park man, Russell Lanier Leath to 12 years in a State of Texas penitentiary for the offense of indecency with a child by contact.

The charge stemmed from a sexual assault of a 13 year-old reported to police in June 2010.

In Febuary 2011, Leath pled guilty to this charge and had been placed on community supervision and ordered to successfully complete a sex offender treatment program while on probation.

According to Dobie Kosub, the Wichita County DA’s prosecutor on the case, Leath participated in the sex offender program with very poor results. Kosub said Leath was ambivalent concerning his work assignments and deceptive regarding the rules that he refused to follow.

He admitted to continual sexual acts that violated his probation terms.
However, diligent attention by the treatment provider and his supervision officer provided proof of the defendant’s unwillingness to follow the rules and take advantage of the opportunity offered him.

As a result of his repeated violations, ranging from failed homework assignments to prostituting himself via the internet, to engaging in sex acts in public, he was expelled from the program and will spend 12 years in prison.

Kosub said this case demonstrates the effectiveness of the sex offender treatment program because these offenders are strictly monitored.

“Sex offenses are difficult cases from the beginning,” Kosub said. “The justice system as a whole is geared toward the protection of those accused of victimizing children and others. Very little protection is offered to our children and those who suffer horrendously because of these offenders.”

Kosub said his office has to make choices when evaluating offenders and find the most effective way to resolve the cases. He explained that in order to spare the victim the heartache and terror of a trial, a term of probation may be the most appropriate solution.

“The program in this case served to identify another sex offender who demonstrated a continuing danger to our community and a sex offender who was not interested in changing his attitude,” said Kosub. “I am thankful the program is available for that purpose. It is regrettable that the defendant chose not take advantage of this chance at rehabilitation, but, instead, chose to ignore the folks who were trying to help him. Now, he’s going to pay a price for trying to take his pleasures at the expense of our community.”

As a result of failing to comply with his probation, a warrant was issued for Leath in July for probation violation.

Leath was taken into custody and remains in Wichita County jail.

He will be transported to prison, according to Kosub.

Leath must serve at least half of the 12 years he was sentenced before going before a parole board.

Typically, sex offenders receive special attention by the system and serve approximately 75 percent of the time sentenced.

Leath will have to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life.

Leath is under investigation by the Iowa Park Police Department and may face additional charges, according to Iowa Park Police Chief Robert Johnson.