Graphic content warning: This story discusses crimes against children.
A convicted Texas child molester who is nearing eligibility for parole will not go free, according to prosecutors, who announced Friday that a jury approved to have him committed to a mental institution upon release under a state law designed to keep mentally ill sex predators off the streets.
Robert Edmond Alexander is a repeat child rapist convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a boy under 14 in 1996. He pleaded guilty, was placed on probation and in 2001 attacked a 10-year-old girl.
His probation on the first case was revoked, and he received concurrent 30-year sentences for both attacks, according to the Galveston County District Attorney’s Office.
Court records show he has also failed to register as a sex offender and been previously charged with misdemeanor theft.
But he’s nearing eligibility for parole, and Assistant District Attorney Brent Haynes and Special Prosecutor Marc Gault argued for a civil commitment to a mental health facility following his release under the Texas Sexually Violent Predator Law.
Under the law, repeat offenders can be civilly committed if they’ve been convicted of more than one offense, have served at least one sentence and a jury finds they have "a behavioral abnormality" that makes another violent sexual offense likely.
Dr. Darrel Turner, a psychologist, testified that he diagnosed Alexander with pedophilic disorder, an anti-social personality disorder and impulse control disorder.
Prosecutors argued that these disorders "cause persons to disregard the rights of others to serve their own interests," and jurors agreed.
The combination "makes Alexander a sexually violent predator," District Attorney Jack Roady’s office said in a statement. "Haynes acknowledged that Alexander does not look dangerous, but stated that is the exactly the kind of man little children would not be afraid of."
Once committed, Alexander will be evaluated every two years for a chance of release, and he has a legal right to petition the court for release, according to Roady’s office.