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Friday, March 21, 2008

Registered Sex Offender To Run To Become Mayor of Wilmer, Texas

(James Brian Sliter, Registered Sex Offender Running to become Mayor of Wilmer Texas- Photo from Texas Sex Offender Registry)

James Brian Sliter was arrested in a sting operation for arranging, via the Internet, to have sex with a 15 year old girl, in 2004. When he showed up for the meeting he was greeted by police officers instead of a child.
The election for Wilmer will be held on May 10, 2008 and Sliter will be one of three candidates running for Mayor.

One of those candidates, Don Hudson, is the Mayor of Wilmer presently and he says that Sliter's candidacy "is embarrassing," he then adds, "Will a sex offender serving as mayor put a stigma on this city? You bet it will."

According to his sex offender page at the state's registry, he is still on probation for "Offense: 11990002 Sexual Assault Child."

In an interview with KTVT-TV, Sliter told the reporter, "People need to realize that people make mistakes, and they need to look past those mistakes and forgive and move on. I'm not asking anybody to condone what I did."

According to the station, Sliter received deferred adjudication and was placed on probation for ten years and as part of that he had to register with the state as a sex offender, but because he plead out and never had a trial, he was never convicted at trial, therefore he is eligible to file as a candidate for mayor.

Sliter asserts that friends encouraged him to run for mayor and that is confirmed by one of those friends, Lynne Thompson, a waitress at a homestyle restaurant in Wilmer, who tells reporters, "He is a concerned citizen who wants to help this town. That's what counts. He's a nice, quiet, energetic and smart man."

Sliter's neighbor, Lonnie Walden, believes that catching Sliter in the manner that the authorities did was "wrong", referring to the police sting operation, and he states, "I'd never go see a 15-year-old girl but it's still wrong how they set people up ... . I think there's going to be a bunch of stink over it."

The town will make the decision of whether to elect Sliter or not in May, but the story leaves a couple of questions.

Should a registered sex offender be eligible to run for Mayor and are police sting operations to catch men or women that arrange meetings with children for the purpose of having sex with them, "wrong"?