Several defendants accused of pedophilia-related crimes have trial dates this summer, including the case of a 29-year-old Mountain Home man accused of sodomizing a boy while being infected with HIV.

Prosecutors tacked on a “deadly weapon enhancement” to Christopher Robert Sandefur’s criminal case because he reportedly is HIV positive, which makes the charge punishable by as much as life in prison rather than 20 years imprisonment. Although no criminal statute explicitly addresses HIV exposure, Texas prosecutors have taken it into account in the past.

Sandefur is free on bonds totaling $135,000 following his Feb. 21 arrest. The arrest came after the Kerr County Sheriff’s office was notified by Kerrville police that a boy had reported being sexually assaulted by Sandefur, according to news reports. Sheriff’s office investigators reportedly determined Sandefur had been on social media sites in violation of his sex offender registration conditions. His criminal history wasn’t immediately available.

Sandefur is charged with seven third degree felony counts of failing to abide by sex offender registration conditions, and one count of aggravated sexual assault of a child.

He is scheduled to appear before 198th District Judge Melvin Rex Emerson on Aug. 6.

Another defendant set to appear in court on accusations related to pedophilia is 48-year-old Keith Harmon, who faces four separate cases involving more than 250 counts of possession of child pornography, according to court records. Each count is a third degree felony punishable by as much as 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

He also faces a third degree felony charge of failing to abide by sex offender registration requirements. Harmon, a Kerrville resident, pleaded guilty to sexual assault in 2001.

Harmon is free on about $6.3 million in bonds after having been booked into the county jail three times last year following indictments: two on child porn charges and one on the sex offender registration charge, according to court records.

Harmon was arrested in April 2018 following an investigation by the Kerr County Sheriff’s Office. Investigators had executed search warrants of Harmon’s home and business, his vehicles and his cell phone following a tip. Investigators reported finding hundreds of images of child pornography.

Whether it’s alleged such images would have been downloaded from the internet or sent by a minor is unclear.

Harmon is scheduled to appear for a jury trial before 216th District Judge N. Keith Williams on July 22. His case is being prosecuted by the office of 216th District Attorney Lucy Wilke.

Wilke said Kerr County does not have an unusual amount of criminal cases involving allegations of sex crimes.

“I think they are everywhere,” Wilke said. “I don’t think we have more than anybody else. Same with drug cases. Drug dealers and sex offenders are everywhere.”

Names and trial dates of others accused of pedophilia-related offenses are as follows:

• Aug. Erwin Medina, charged with two counts of indecency with child by sexual contact, Aug. 26

• Mark Holloway, charged with two counts of indecency with a child by sexual contact, Sept. 23

• Russell Lynn Berry, charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14 and 54 counts of possession of child pornography, Sept. 23

• Thomas Hall, charged with six counts of possession of child pornography, Sept. 23

• Johnny Richard Ingram Sr., charged with five counts of possession of child pornography, Aug. 5

• Hayden Andrew Rue, charged with two counts of sexual assault of a child, Oct. 8

• Nathaniel Lee Schoen, charged with two counts of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14 and 34 counts of possession of chid porn, July 22

(2) comments

Conservative

"Wilke said Kerr County does not have an unusual amount of criminal cases involving allegations of sx crimes." Oh really? Does Wilke follow the local news? If Wilke devoted her time and our money prosecuting crimes like this as opposed to the Kevin Franke and Deron Belford type cases perhaps Kerr County would not be the Ped***file capital of Texas. And by the way, whatever happened in the 2016 murder case of Megan King (burned body) on the Auld Ranch and subsequent arrest of Eric Auld for child p**n and tampering with evidence ( assumed to be a corpse)? The KDT has gone silent on this one. I see this case as one of our top stories and it has been all but ignored by the local press.

Conservative

Now DA Wilke wants us to believe our child s*x crime problem in Kerrville is normal and Kevin Franke is a murderer. Any recognition of Kerr's off the chart child s*x crime would be a Chamber of Commerce nightmare, and that trumps dealing with the problem. Our LE needs to take some action in a concerted effort to combat this off the chart problem, but that will not happen because they refuse to admit we have a problem due to the bad optics. A time goes on, the 216th gets more and more out of touch with the people of Kerr County. New ideas, new energy and new focus is needed in the DA's office and on the bench. We deserve better.

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