Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thomas Edwin Russell - Repeat Sex Offender - Pedophile Predator

"This guy is a true pedophile - a true predator"

"He never showed any remorse"

A 53-year-old registered sex offender pleaded guilty Tuesday to sexual abuse of pre-teenage girls and terroristic threatening.

Thomas Edwin Russell, 53, of Springdale was sentenced to a total of 65 years - 35 years in the Department of Correction and 30 years suspended. He pleaded guilty to three counts of second-degree sexual assault and one count of terroristic threatening. Russell was charged Nov. 21 with eight counts of rape and five counts of terroristic threatening. He is accused of raping pre-teenage girls between April 2006 and November 2007. He is also accused of threatening to kill a victim if she told anyone what he did.

Russell agreed to the negotiated plea after 4th Judicial Circuit Judge William Storey ruled last week that Russell's previous conviction and an allegation of sexual assault could be presented as evidence at trial.

Russell was convicted in 1985 of the sexual assault of a 9-yearold girl in Washington County. Russell was sentenced to 15 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction for the crime.

After his release from prison in 1999, Russell was accused of sexually assaulting a girl in Camden in 2000. This case was not prosecuted at the request of the victim's family, but the victim's testimony at a revocation hearing sent Russell back to prison on a probation violation, Chreea Stanimirovic, 4 th Judicial District deputy prosecutor, said.

"This guy is a true pedophile - a true predator," Stanimirovic said.

During sentencing, he never showed any remorse, even when the victim read her impact statement, she said.

"He never said he was sorry," she said. "He never said anything."

Russell was sentenced under a statue that typically requires convicted sex offenders to serve their entire sentence if they are convicted of a new offense, Stanimirovic said.

"25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years"
.........Sarah Tofte

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