Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Anthony Cantu - Repeat Sex Offender - Juvenile Repeater

  • 2003 Victim: 7 year old boy
  • 2005 Victim: 3 year old boy
  • 2009 Victim: 4 year old boy

Anthony Cantu is only 21. He's also a twice-convicted registered sex offender. And now, authorities say he may have tried to kidnap a third child with the intent of sexually abusing the victim.

KAKE News has told you about Cantu's case before. He was charged in September with attempted kidnapping after prosecutors say he was caught on security video trying to lead a four-year-old boy away from his mother and out of a Derby store.

Since then, more information has surfaced about Cantu's past. In particular, prosecutors discovered he was mistakenly released from the custody of the state's Juvenile Justice Authority before the end of his term.
It began in 2005 when Cantu pleaded guilty to his second sex offense. He was 17 at the time, and still a minor. A judge ordered Cantu to serve time in a juvenile corrections facility until he turned 22 1/2, with instructions he was to remain under state supervision until he was 23.

While incarcerated, Cantu was able to earn 38 percent good time credit, which allowed him to be put on conditional release - the juvenile equivalent of parole - in August 2008.

But instead of staying on conditional release and under the Juvenile Justice Authority's supervision until he turned 23 in November 2010, Cantu was accidentally discharged completely in February 2009.
The Juvenile Justice Authority admits it made a mistake, and blames a "clerical miscalculation."

"Had the date been entered correctly into the system, he would have remained under the supervision of a case worker in the community," says Bill Miskell, spokesperson for the Department of Corrections and Juvenile Justice Authority.

Cantu's release presented a special dilemma for Sedgwick County prosecutors.

"It was problematic not having some sort of supervision in this case," says Ron Paschal, Sedgwick Co. Deputy District Attorney.
Paschal discovered Cantu's mistaken release when prosecutors filed the attempted kidnapping charges against him in September. Paschal went back through the court file, only to learn the District Attorney's office never received a crucial piece of paper indicating authorities planned to release Cantu from parole supervision.

Without it, prosecutors never knew Cantu was not being supervised.
As for Cantu, he thought he had successfully completed the terms of his sentence.

Paschal says Cantu was released with more than 650 days left to serve on his 2005 conviction.
"We believe it's completely unrealistic when balanced against the crime committed and the risk to the citizens in the community," Paschal said.

It was during the time Cantu should have been under the watch of the Juvenile Justice Authority, prosecutors allege he attempted to kidnap another child.
Although Cantu's release from a correctional facility was legal, his release from parole was not. So when the new charges surfaced, Paschal had to take Cantu back to court on his old convictions.

As part of an agreement in 2005, Cantu was sentenced to juvenile corrections with the understanding that if he was released and violated the terms of his parole, he'd be sent to prison to serve an adult punishment.

That's exactly what a judge ordered Cantu to do last Friday, while the new attempted kidnapping charges work their way through the legal system.

The Juvenile Justice Authority says it was also unaware of the error in Cantu's release until contacted by prosecutors. Since the discovery, spokesperson Bill Miskell says additional safeguards have been put in place to ensure it never happens again. Miskell says all discharge dates are now reviewed multiple times before anybody is released from parole.

Although Cantu was not being supervised by the Juvenile Justice Authority, his KBI profile shows he was a fully-compliant registered sex offender. He now faces 65 months in prison for violating the terms of parole in his 2005 conviction, a number that could grow substantially if Cantu is also convicted of attempted kidnapping in his current case.

See Video

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

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