By Chris Edwards
GROVETON – A Tyler County man was sentenced in a Trinity County courtroom to 20 years in prison on Friday.
Damon Paul Allen, 36, pleaded guilty to a charge of online solicitation of a minor, a second-degree felony.
According to Trinity County District Attorney Bennie Schiro, Allen never actually met his intended victim.
“His crime was committed completely over the Internet,” Schiro said.
The crime which Allen was charged occurred in April 2017, when Allen, who was then identified as living in Hillister, was arrested by the Groveton Police Department following a complaint from a 16-year-old girl’s mother. The parent told police that Allen had been liking and commenting on her daughter’s Facebook posts “to a disturbing degree,” and she then turned her daughter’s phone over to police, who found that Allen had been sending inappropriate texts and “sexting” the girl and was trying to get her to meet up with him, according to Groveton Chief of Police John Raiford.
Allen is currently a registered sex offender, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety Sex Offender Registry. He is listed as a moderate risk level offender, stemming from a 2005 conviction of Indecency With a Child by Exposure, for which he was sentenced to six years of community supervision. A records search revealed Allen was sentenced in 2009 for failing to comply with his offender registration requirements. He was released in 2016.
He is listed on the registry as a Colmesneil resident with an annual verification requirement.