DeAundric Jaquay Dorsey had been held in the Harris County jail system following his 2019 arrest on charges of human trafficking, assault, sexual assault of a child, and compelling prostitution of a child.
Dorsey had prior convictions in Michigan and Montgomery County, Texas, and the district attorney’s office had asked the 180th Criminal District Court Judge to keep Dorsey in custody since he was not only considered a flight risk but a danger to the community and the trafficking victim.
Judge DaSean Jones, however, reduced bonds on the four felony charges from $50,000 to $25,000, and finally, to $15,000 each, and authorized Dorsey’s release last February.
Dorsey attended only the first day of his trial last week and then disappeared. Tried in absentia, the jury convicted Dorsey of compelling prostitution of a minor and he has been sentenced to 40 years in prison.
Now Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to his re-arrest, but District Attorney Kim Ogg warned during a Tuesday press conference with Crime Stoppers that Dorsey could be a danger to police.
“There’s no more dangerous person for law enforcement to arrest than a wanted fugitive because he knows he’s looking at time,” said Ogg.
Earlier this year, a suspect shot and killed Houston Police officer William Jeffrey and wounded Sgt. Michael Vance when they attempted to serve a narcotics warrant.
Jones has been identified as one of several Harris County elected judges who have released violent suspects on bond, and last August a suspect Jones had released on nine separate bonds led police on a chaotic highway chase in which he shot at officers before he was killed by return fire.
Crime Stoppers victims advocate Andy Kahan pointed out that due to the increasing number of felony suspects released on bond, there would be more fugitives at large in the community.
“You’re talking about thousands of defendants that are on bond for violent offenses, from capital murder, to murder, to aggravated sexual assault, to human trafficking,” said Kahan. “They’re now going to be having trials, so I think this is just the tip of the iceberg.”
Crime Stoppers Human Trafficking Advocate Jennifer Hohman offered the perspective of victims and noted that she had worked with trafficked girls as young as 9 years old. She added that not only had the judge lowered bond, but that suspects could pay as little as 5 percent down and make payments to bail bond companies to obtain release.
Hohman also described a similar case in which a man recently convicted on seven counts of aggravated assault had pled to 10 years, but the courts said they would not take him into custody until January so that he “could be home for the holidays.”
Despite the dangers, Ogg urged the community to report any knowledge of Dorsey’s whereabouts, and she expressed frustration at having a successful prosecution “only to see the defendant flee on a minuscule bond that should not have been set.”
As for the victim, Ogg said “We want justice for the young girl. She had the courage to report the crime, to tell her story to advocates and prosecutors, to identify the defendant from a photo spread, and to face him down in trial only to see him walk away.”
Crime Stoppers is asking anyone with knowledge of Dorsey’s whereabouts to call 713-222-TIPS.
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Holly Hansen is a regional reporter for The Texan living in Harris County. Her former column, “All In Perspective” ran in The Georgetown Advocate, Jarrell Star Ledger, and The Hill Country News, and she has contributed to a variety of Texas digital media outlets. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Central Florida with a degree in History, and in addition to writing about politics and policy, also writes about faith and culture.