San Antonio, Texas, January 6, 2017: Yesterday afternoon, a repeat sex offender was committed to continued supervision upon his release from prison. A Bexar County jury in the 186th District Court unanimously found Richard Paul Barnes, age 66, to be a sexually violent predator as defined by the Texas Health and Safety Code. The jury found Barnes had been previously convicted of multiple sexually violent offenses and that he suffers from a behavioral abnormality that makes him likely to engage in a predatory act of sexual violence.
As a result of the jury’s verdict, State Judge Jefferson Moore ordered Barnes civilly committed for further supervision and treatment. This is the second trial in Bexar County related to the civil commitment of a sexually violent predator. Barnes, the respondent in the case, had previously been convicted of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child. The victims in the case were just 6 and 4 years old at the time of the sexual assault. On August 28, 1998, he was sentenced to two concurrent 20 year sentences in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Barnes has a projected prison release date of February 12, 2018. With the jury’s finding, Barnes will be required to undergo further psychiatric treatment and submit to GPS tracking, and if necessary to reside in supervised housing.
“The jury’s verdict reflects our belief that this defendant is a continued danger to our community and our children,” said District Attorney Nico LaHood. “Our Office will continue to pursue sexual predators in order to keep our community safe.”
Prior to September 2015, all trials related to civil commitment were held in the 435th Judicial District Court of Montgomery County, Texas. The Texas Legislature changed the law in 2015 to vest jurisdiction over the trial in the county where the offender was originally convicted. The case was prosecuted by the Bexar County Criminal District Attorney’s Office in conjunction with attorneys assigned to the Special Prosecution Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.