THE NAVASOTA EXAMINER
Sex offenders Charles Makofski of Todd Mission and Willie Clyde Snook of Iola each received 10 years of deferred adjudication for molesting children.
BY ROSEMARY SMITH, Examiner editor | 6 comments
506th District Court Judge Albert M. "Buddy" McCaig sentenced 20-year-old Charles Makofski of Todd Mission to 10 years of deferred adjudication for aggravated sexual assault of a child, a first-degree felony, last Thursday. Makofski will also register as a sex offender and serve 90 days in county jail.
First-degree felony punishment includes a possible prison sentence of 5 years to life.
McCaig also made provision in the sentencing that allows Makofski to attend church at The Upper Room in Magnolia, and participate in activities with children there, as long as Makofski is under the supervision of the pastor or associate pastors.
The victim's stepmother, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said after 2 years of waiting, she believes justice was not served.
"I feel very angry. I think it's a slap on the wrist, and is so far from what it should be. He should do real time in the penitentiary. I'm extremely disappointed in the justice system," said the stepmother.
Brenda Williams, who has served as the local crime victims coordinator for the past 22 years, and 24-year prosecutor, District Attorney Tuck McLain, both said though they respect Judge McCaig's decision, they also disagree with the outcome.
"I give thanks to the prosecutors and all law enforcement that work countless hours to protect and represent victims of this great county," said Williams. "The victim is often forgotten, and the focus is primarily on the defendant. I pray and hope that time will heal all wounds of this sad outcome."
McLain added, "In the vast majority of cases, where children are molested, we believe prison is the appropriate sentence. Grimes County juries have always agreed with us. We have never had a jury give a child molester probation."
The stepmother said she was also upset that the judge did not consider reading her victim impact statement (describing the impact the sexual assault of the child has had on both the victim and the family) prior to the sentencing.
"He didn't read what we wrote or ask us, so I feel like he really doesn't care to know what kind of impact it's had on us as a family," said the stepmom.
During an interview at an informational Victim Impact Statement Meeting in Navasota Tuesday, Judge McCaig told The Examiner that, according to the Rules of Evidence, the victim impact statement written by the stepmother should have been delivered to the defense attorney 10 days prior to the hearing, and wants "victims to have a voice in my court."
Art. 56.03(e) of the Code of Criminal Procedure states, "Prior to the imposition of a sentence by the court in a criminal case, the court, if it has received a victim impact statement, shall consider the information provided in the statement. Before sentencing the defendant, the court shall permit the defendant or his counsel a reasonable time to read the statement, excluding the victim's name, address, and telephone number, comment on the statement, and, with the approval of the court, introduce testimony or other information alleging a factual inaccuracy in the statement..."
McLain said, "No, we have not had a judge decline to read the VIS at sentencing, but this scenario is relatively uncommon. Judge McCaig did not directly hold the VIS inadmissible. He simply said he would not read it before he passed sentencing. That has the same effect as holding it inadmissible."
"I want to ask him why he didn't take what happened to my daughter as a serious crime - something that had a deep impact on my daughter's life, he dismissed as nothing," said the stepmother.
She added that the victim would no longer attend her home church - the same church Makofski will be able to attend, which meets at Magnolia High School.
"I think this judge doesn't need to be reelected, and obviously doesn't care about the people or victims. He's more concerned about what's best for the defendant than the people they hurt," the stepmother said during an interview on Monday. "I'm worried about the children that go to that church, and they hold big functions. He's a child molester and people like this don't change overnight. It's horrible to know that a church supports pedophiles."
On Tuesday, Judge McCaig told The Examiner his decision to allow Makofski to attend the church was because, "Part of the defense was based on the fact that his group of associates are centered around church and his pastor. And I want to make sure that affiliation isn't just something he did for sentencing, but really a part of his life, because I do believe that faith in Jesus Christ is one of the few things that will change people."
The judge added that the psychosexual evaluation of Makofski by Dr. Roy R. Luepnitz, Ph.D. "was very persuasive about him not being a continued threat to society."
The November 2010 evaluation report states that Makofski "does not show a clinically significant interest in: 2-4 year-old and 8-10 year-old Caucasian/Black males/females; and adolescent Caucasian/Black males."
The report also stated Makofski is sexually aroused by adolescent Caucasian/Black females, and by exhibitionism against females; and that "Makofski scored 39 percent, and is medium risk that he fits the denier child sexual abuser category (those who denied ever having committed a child sexual offense.) Makofski's scores also indicate a problematic unwillingness (80 percent) to admit violations of common social mores and may indicate the client's inability to respond truthfully to others."
The report concluded that Makofski "does not appear to have persistent sexual deviations and/or interests; does not appear to have persistent sexual attraction to children; and does not have persistent clinically significant sexual interest in sadistic aggressive behavior against females."
In reference to testimony by the doctor and a preacher, McLain said, "I, frankly, give little stock in anyone's predictions as to whether a sex offender will re-offend. I give little concern to the defendants in these types of cases - other than to protect the rest of us from them. I feel they have forfeited their rights to live in society."
A presentencing investigation report ordered by McCaig said, "It caused concern to the writer (of report) that in court, Makofski acknowledged his role in the instant offense. However, during the PSI process, he could not remember his participation in the offense."
McCaig said another factor in his deferred adjudication sentencing decision was the age of the defendant at the time of the offense, which was 18.
"Eighteen-year-olds aren't known for having good judgment. And, by his own admission, he was drinking at the time of the offense," said McCaig.
Grimes County Sheriff's Office Investigator Jimmy Armatys was called to the home of the victim on April 10, 2009, the same day she asked to be picked up from a relative's home, and made an outcry to her stepmom.
During an interview with Armatys the following day, Makofski denied the allegations, saying he had been drinking and "blacked out." However, Makofski admitted to a separate aggravated sexual assault of a child incident in 2008, with the same victim, a 7-year-old female, according to a probable cause statement completed by Grimes County Sheriff's Office Investigator Jimmy Armatys in April 2009.
When asked why Makofski was given 90 days in county jail, rather than the maximum 180 days with the deferred adjudication sentencing he chose, Judge McCaig said, "If my sentencing were strictly to be for punishment, I would have sent him to prison. The jail time is an abject lesson to show him what long-term incarceration is like, so it will reinforce his desire to not reoffend."
The stepmother said she would now be turning to the victim's counselor for advice about how to break the news regarding the outcome of the trial.
Judge McCaig told The Examiner Makofski was eligible for probation because he does not have a prior criminal history.
"With deferred adjudication, if he violates the terms of his probation, I still have the right to sentence him to 5 to 99 (years) or life (in prison)," said Judge McCaig. "That differs from straight probation because I would only be able to revoke him to 10 years in prison. With deferred, I have the full range of punishment."
McLain said, "It's almost impossible to catch a sex offender a second time, and, if you do catch them, then you have a second victim."
Makofski was arrested April 16, 2009, and was released the following day, on a $25,000 surety bond.
Violator given modifications
On Jan. 18, 506th District Court Judge Albert M. "Buddy" McCaig denied a motion to revoke deferred adjudication for sex offender Willie Clyde Snook of Iola, now 27.
Snook was initially charged with 3 counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and 3 counts of indecency with a child by contact that occurred in 2006. The victim was 12 years old at the time of the incidents.
Snook pled guilty to 1 count of indecency with a child by contact in April 2008, a second-degree felony that carries a possible punishment of 2 to 20 years in prison. In March 2009, McCaig placed Snook on deferred adjudication for 10 years.
The district attorney's office said Snook was found in violation because was accessing adult pornography on an unmonitored computer. Judge McCaig declined to issue a warrant for Snook and, instead, summoned him to court.
"Judge McCaig indicated to us he was not inclined to revoke his community supervision for that violation, but he would appoint Snook a lawyer and we could have a hearing if we wished. The judge did indicate he would consider a modification of Snook's community supervision," said McLain. "As a result of that court appearance, Snook's community supervision was modified to include 2 weeks of jail and more stringent computer monitoring. He is still on probation today."
McCaig said the reason the probation wasn't revoked was "because of the nature of the offense. He confessed to looking at pornography on a computer, which is why he went to jail for 2 weeks."
During the initial sentencing in 2009, McCaig said he opted to use deferred adjudication after he reviewed Snook's military file, which is currently sealed.
"Snook is a veteran of the US Marine Corps, where he participated in the first battle of Fallujah, Iraq, which was the most intense ground combat for US forces since the Tet Offensive in 1968. I took that into consideration in Snook's case, after I reviewed his entire military records file," McGaig said.
The district attorney disagrees.
"Although we recognized Snook's service, we did not feel it was justification or mitigation for what he did. I also felt his actions and claims that his service induced mental problems were to blame were a disservice to the tens of thousands of combat veterans who have suffered from their service, yet seem to avoid molesting children," said McLain. "For those reasons, we asked for a substantial prison term."
The judge said the reason the charges against Snook for 3 counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and 3 counts of indecency with a child by contact were lumped together as 1 indecency with a child charge is because, "It was all with the same child and all within the same timeframe. It was like a single weekend."
Snook was arrested Aug. 29, 2007, and was released on a $60,000 surety bond Dec. 15, 2010.
Posted in News on Wednesday, April 20, 2011 11:02 am. Updated: 11:27 am.
The Navasota Examiner
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Posted: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 11:02 am | Updated: 11:27 am, Wed Apr 20, 2011.