The Cherokee County District Attorney’s office decided to charge federally convicted rapist Jacksonville patrol cop Larry Pugh with something only after Federal pressure, extensive media attention and an irate populace. This came after district attorney Elmer Beckworth predicted months earlier to the Jacksonville Daily Progress that Larry Pugh would merely “have to register as a sex offender” after his jail time. Following Beckworth’s suit of offering probation as plea bargain to sex offenders and the local media ignoring the sentencing.
It was decided after Larry Pugh’s exhaustive 2 weeks worth of plea bargains (no Federal appeal on the horizon) that it was in the vested interest of the little community to finally bring state charges against the rogue officer. Pugh buckled under the federal indictments and convictions, even though the District Attorney continued to seek charges against several of Pugh’s victims .
“This is a plea bargain only for his (Pugh’s) three federal charges,” said Pete Galbraith, supervisory senior special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation during a press conference immediately following the proceedings. “The Cherokee County charges will have to be folded into this.”
Post script: the Tyler Morning Telegraph ran a two-part series on ex-Jacksonville, TX patrol officer Larry Pugh titled “One Bad Cop” regarding 2 missing federal witnesses. Unfortunately, they portray Pugh’s victims as streetwalkers; secondly Cherokee County has had more than one bad peace officer. Hats off to the Tyler Morning Telegraph for showing concern.
The decomposing bodies of Larry Pugh’s complainants scheduled to testify at his federal trial also recently surfaced in the Angelina National Forest. Remember folks, as the former Jacksonville, TX police chief stated “don’t jump to conclusions,” even though Larry Pugh was hired directly from the Athens, TX PD amidst allegations and investigations of 20 other rapes.
Perfect man for the job of East Texas traffic enforcement in the wee morning hours. As the Tyler Paper online cites Pugh’s “exemplary police record,” and laments on how such a “good cop” with a wife and children could turn to easing his boredom in such a small town by tracking down AIDS infected drug addicts, just to have unprotective sex with them in dirty cemeteries.
Here’s the heads up: Larry Pugh, like those before him, sought out the most illegal thing he could do, short of child pornography, and get away with it every day. He got a kick out of getting away with it in front of his beautiful wife and children, so he could wipe his and Cherokee County’s collective ass on the law. The locals are to believe that Larry Pugh acted alone in disposing of his federal witnesses. The guy was out on federal bond and he was monitored. How can someone with a federal indictment have access to personal records of his complainants (located at the Jacksonville, Texas city hall) via the Freedom of Information Act?
No charges were ever filed on Officer Pugh by Cherokee County until he pled guilty in federal court and was sentenced. The Cherokee County media paint Pugh’s victims as “transients” and drug addicts, while feigning public sympathy, as in the Jacksonville Daily Progress articles citing the missing Shunte Coleman and Terri Reyes.
According to Pugh he was not forced in any way to accept the plea bargain instead of going to trial in November.
However, Pugh’s sister, Linda, and his mother, Jaquita Smith, said Pugh was forced to accept the agreement, which includes the maximum jail time.
“They all had him take the plea for two reasons – his safety and because with a jury he could have gotten 30 years to life for just one charge,” Linda said. “There’s not a violent bone in his body.”
Pugh’s mother expressed concern with JPD and the FBI stating the plea occurred “because Jacksonville is just railroading him.”
“My son, well you saw his wife, do you think he has any reason to have sex with someone else?” Smith said.
Pugh’s wife, Jennifer, and one of the female victims in his case were present at the court proceedings. Jennifer Pugh adhered to the press, but she spoke only briefly. The victim declined comment.
During a press conference at the U.S Department of Defense in Tyler, John Ratcliffe, first assistant U.S. Attorney, and other FBI and law enforcement officials gave a summary of the court proceedings and answered questions.
“More specifically, Mr. Pugh was admitting that on two separate occasions in 2005, while on duty and while in uniform, he forced two different women to have sex with him,” Ratcliffe said.
The 12-year prison term includes one year for each civil rights violation and 10 years for the retaliation charge.
“It is unfortunate and sad that someone with law enforcement had betrayed the law. It makes it more difficult for other officers in the area to do their job,” Ratcliffe said.
One stipulation in the agreement mentioned the possibility that Pugh not be required to register as a sex offender. However, Cherokee County District Attorney Elmer Beckworth said he believes Pugh may be required by the state to register as a sex offender after he has served his jail time.
According to Cherokee County newspaper outlets, such as The Jacksonville Daily Progress, Pugh’s victims were all “homeless” and drug addicts—-yet 9 of his victims lived in actual homes in the area.
John Ratcliff is no longer a US Attorney with the Justice Department. He is the elected Congressional Representative of Texas 4th District. He played a key role in putting a serial killer rapist behind bars. You can reach him through the link below.
- Washington, DC Office 223 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-6673
Fax: (202) 225-3332
- Rockwall Office6531 Horizon Road
Rockwall, TX 75032
Phone: (972) 771-0100
Fax: (972) 771-1222
- Sherman Office100 West Houston Street
Sherman, TX 75090
Phone: (903) 813-5270
Fax: (903) 868-8613
- Texarkana OfficeTexarkana College – Health Science Building
2500 North Robison Rd, Suite 190
Texarkana, TX 75599
Phone: (903) 823-3173
Fax: (903) 832-3232
Mail To: PO Box 5747, Texarkana, TX 75505
What is a Serial Rapist?
A serial rapist is a person who forces a series of victims into unwanted sexual activity. Similar to a serial killer, the rapist will have a cooling off period in-between crimes. Many serial rapist are also serial killers.
Methods of Approach
The criminal will approach the victim posing as an authority figure; a police officer for example. The con approach involves subterfuge and is predicated on the rapist’s ability to interact with women. With this technique, the rapist openly approaches the victim and requests or offers some type of assistance or direction. However, once the victim is within his control, the offender may suddenly become more aggressive.
In a blitz approach, the rapist uses a direct, injurious physical assault which subdues and physically injures the victim. The attacker may also use chemicals or gases but most frequently makes use of his ability to physically overpower a woman. Interestingly, despite its simplicity, this approach was used in 23% of the first rapes, 20% of the middle rapes, and 17% of the last rapes. Even though it is used less often than the con approach, the blitz approach results in more extensive physical injury and inhibits certain fantasy components of the rape that may be arousing to the rapist.
The surprise approach, which involves the assailant waiting for the victim or approaching her after she is sleeping, presupposes that the rapist has targeted or preselected his victim through unobserved contact and knowledge of when the victim would be alone. Threats and/or the presence of a weapon are often associated with this type of approach; however, there is no actual injurious force applied. They usually stalk their victims for a time first.
The Silent Rapist
Some serial rapists are respected members of society who repeatedly take advantage of women and are able to target these individuals by putting them in a position of vulnerability, such as that stated above, in sleep, and/or by compromising the person’s judgement through the use of drugs and/or alcohol. They are never reported because the victim thinks somehow that there was a misunderstanding, giving the benefit of the doubt to the rapist. Because they do not consider it a rape themselves with the potential for embarrassment if they admit to “allowing” it to occur, a victim believes that their experience is an isolated event. There is never a collaboration among the victims, because they are unaware this is repeated experience for the perpetrator, who moves on to the next victim. This is the most controlled rapist because part of his satisfaction is his ability to get away with the crime without ever drawing an attention to the contrary. This type of rapist is “the silent rapist” because he is under the radar of everyone involved, except himself, and surprises his victim with his reputation. The victim considers him safe to be with because his background check is immaculate.
It is estimated that 34% of all serial rapists suffer from some form of sexual dysfunction
The majority of the rapes were premeditated
The con approach was used most often in initiating contact
A threatening presence and verbal threats were used to maintain control
Minimal or no force was used in the majority of instances
The most common offender reaction to resistance was verbal threats
Low levels of pleasure were reported by the rapist
The rapists tended not to be concerned with precautionary measures to protect their identities
Approximately one-third of the rapists had consumed alcohol prior to the crime and slightly less reported using some other drug