By David Webb the Rare Reporter
Update: On January 25th, a judge in Navarro County gave Joey Dauben three consecutive 10-year sentences. You can read about it here.
After sitting through a surreal, six-day child sexual assault trial recently I came away with the knowledge that the least likely of people can fall victim to disaster if they are foolish enough to consume alcohol with a minor who legally cannot give consent to sexually activity.
The outcome of the trial of Joey Dauben, a former Texas blogger who specialized in rooting out and uncovering child pornography rings and sexual predators, left me dazed. For a year after his indictment I believed he would be acquitted, but two days into the trial I began to experience a sinking feeling that Dauben, 31, harbored an ugly secret that would soon send him to prison as a sexual offender.
It seemed impossible that the youthful, charming Dauben who came from a humble background and seemed so driven to be someone someday could succumb to a fate so sinister that it would destroy his life. But he apparently did, and nothing will ever erase the stigma he must now carry for the rest of his life as a registered sex offender. Certainly, he will never achieve his goal of attaining an elected office, a goal he had unsuccessfully sought several times before his arrest.