SPICEWOOD, TEXAS - Several months after a Spicewood teenager was sentenced to register as a sex offender, two Crosswind neighborhood residents want to know why it took more than four months to get David Muse, currently 19, into the Department of Public Safety's sex offender registry.
Muse pleaded guilty to injury to a child, a third-degree felony, in September of 2016.
As part of that plea deal, Muse was sentenced to ten years of deferred adjudication. He also had to register as a sex offender.
Muse was charged with sexual assault of a child, a second-degree felony, in June of 2015 after a four-year-old girl made an outcry to her father.
According to court documents, the victim "was asked if anyone touches her on her vaginal area, when she said, 'yes, David.'" The affidavit went on to state that, "he (Muse) told her (victim) it was a secret and not to let anyone know."
Christopher Wylie lives on the same street as Muse. He was worried that not enough neighbors knew about Muse, especially with new people moving into the area.
"God forbid to think what could happen," said Wylie, "We have people moving in the neighborhood left and right."
The victim also lives on the same street as Muse and Wylie.
"It was my worst fear," said the victim's mother, when she discovered what her then four-year-old daughter had gone through. We are not identifying the mother to protect the victim's identity.
The mother said it has been a difficult time.
"I lost my job, I had to resign, I lost a lot of friends, I lost my church community," the mother said.
So when a chance encounter with Muse led Wylie to the DPS Sex Offender Registry, Wylie and the victim's mother were shocked to find Muse not there.
"It's frustrating now because he's not on the registry and I don't understand why not," she said.
KVUE called DPS Monday and first asked about the process of getting names into the registry
Spokesman Tom Vinger said that sex offender names are electronically and automatically updated into the registry through emails.
Tuesday morning, KVUE's Jenni Lee emailed Vinger again, this time with Muse's name and additional questions.
We kept checking back on the DPS Sex Offender Registry website throughout Tuesday.
In the morning, there was no David Muse in the registry.
In the afternoon, there was no David Muse in the registry.
It wasn't until 3:30 Tuesday afternoon that Muse's name appeared in the registry...more than four months after he was sentenced.
Vinger sent KVUE the following statement on Tuesday:
"In November, the department received a notification form, but not the required registration form from the Travis County Adult Probation Office (TCAPO), and the submission was rejected. The issue was again brought to our attention on March 1, and we reached out to the Adult Probation Office to reiterate the proper procedure. We received the proper paperwork today, and the offender is now posted to the public site. If we determine TCAPO was not notified of the original submission error in November, we will take the appropriate corrective action internally.
While errors in submitting initial registration paperwork are not uncommon, the issue was not a backlog."
But Travis County Adult Probation Office Division Director Dawn Tannous disputed Vinger's statement.
Tannous said her office submitted the correct forms, the CR-32 and CR-35, to DPS on Oct 21, 2016.
Tannous said it wasn't until March 1, 2017 that DPS contacted Adult Probation and requested an additional form, a form that Tannous said she was not familiar with.
Tannous said her office sought guidance from a manual laying out DPS sex offender registration rules and didn't find anything about the form called a Supplemental Admonitions to the Defendant.
KVUE's Jenni Lee also noticed the date of "March 1, 2017" as part of Muse's profile.
When Lee pressed further and asked, "just to be clear, DPS cannot offer more of an explanation about the 3/1/17 date when Muse didn’t appear until 3/7/17?"
Vinger replied, "there was an error by the submitting agency, which they subsequently corrected. March 7 is the correct date, according to the submitting agency."
Again, Tannous disputed that. As for why Muse's picture was uploaded on Wednesday, Lee couldn't get a straight answer from Vinger.
Lee wrote, "When did DPS receive Muse’s picture? It was uploaded today."
Vinger replied, "We utilized his most recent driver license photo."
Kristen Dark with the Travis County Sheriff's Office said a picture of Muse was sent to DPS on Oct 24, 2016.
CLARIFICATION: The 15 sex offenders mentioned in the on-air broadcast are from the 78669 zip code. They do not all live in the Crosswind neighborhood.
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