John Earnest Collier, Jr., 43, of Livingston, is a convicted child molestor.
Polk County District Attorney's Office Nails Another Child Molester, Judge Coker Hands Down 25 Years, LIVINGSTON, October 28, 2008 - On the afternoon of October 28, 2008, 258th District Court Judge, Elizabeth Coker sentenced John Earnest Collier, Jr, 43, of Livingston to 25 years in prison. The punishment comes after Collier was convicted last week by a Polk County Jury of the crime of aggravated sexual assault of a child. Assistant District Attorney, Joe Martin prosecuted the case and was pleased with the sentencing. The Polk County District Attorney's Office, headed up by Criminal District Attorney, William Lee Hon, has proven to be relentless in seeking out and prosecuting sex offenders as Collier is the 5th child sex offender to be successfully prosecuted in the last 3 months. The following is a press release from the Polk County Criminal District Attorney's Office:
Another Polk County child molester was convicted by a jury on October 22, 2008. Today he was sentenced to 25 years in prison by Judge Elizabeth Coker. The defendant will have to serve at least half of that sentence before he is possibly eligible for parole from prison.
In May 2007 John Earnest Collier, Jr. forced his nine year old step-niece to have sex with him at his trailer house on Fraga Street in Livingston. At his punishment hearing evidence was presented of other inappropriate sexual behavior with children, including the exhibition of pornographic material and one instance of exposing himself to a child.
Collier, 43, has a long history of criminal activity beginning with a car jacking in Colorado when he was 16 years of age. In that 1981 offense, a young mother and her three small children were abducted at gunpoint by Collier and a friend. After being tried as an adult and sentenced, Collier escaped and came to Montgomery County, Texas. He was apprehended in Texas and returned to the Colorado prison system where he served a short sentence.
In the late 1980's Collier began a spree of burglaries over a ten year period. These burglaries, in Dallas and Harris Counties, resulted in five more convictions and brief prison sentences. He later returned to Colorado where he was convicted of a domestic violence charge in 2004.
In the Polk County case Collier was convicted of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child. At trial the child's claim was supported by the testimony of a trained sexual assault nurse examiner who informed the jury that she found injuries to the child consistent with a sexual assault and that, significantly, were consistent with the manner in which the child said the assault occurred. This testimony was crucial because the child was unable to recall many of the details of event. While such inability is not at all unusual according to prosecutors, it does provide challenges in convincing a jury of the truth of the accusations.
Polk County Assistant District Attorney Kaycee Jones stated, "In the vast majority of sexual assault cases there is no physical evidence of injury. We were very fortunate these injuries were still observable at the time of the examination. If we had not had that piece of evidence, this offender may well have gone free".
The examination in question took place in Conroe, Texas approximately one week after the assault. According to Jones this case helped to underscore the need for a sexual assault nurse examiner program in Polk County and such a program has been initiated by Lee Hon, Polk County District Attorney. The nurses are currently undergoing the required training and the program should begin in early 2009 at Livingston Memorial Hospital.
Ms. Jones further stated, "We are extremely gratified the jury made a very wise decision in a difficult case. While it is regrettable that the previous courts do not appear to have taken seriously Mr. Collier's prior charges, this sentence will remove him from contact with children for a long time. Hopefully, given that criminal history, he will serve the entire 25 year sentence".
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