Pleas to keep convicted sex offender in jail: 'He's steady victimizing women'

Pleas to keep convicted sex offender in jail

Wanda Hart came to the courthouse Monday looking to see the judge.

She wanted to tell District Judge Teresa Hawthorne that her cousin, Courtney Stroggins, does not need to be a free man.

"They keep letting him out and he's steady victimizing women," she told 12 News partner station WFAA. "What if it's your sister, your mother?"

Stroggins, 33, has been repeatedly arrested for indecent exposure. Four times, prosecutors have sought to revoke his probation for failing to register as a sex offender and evading arrest. Four times, Hawthorne has denied their requests.

Hart wanted to ask the judge why she keeps letting her cousin out.

Last week, he'd been out of jail for 12 days when a woman told police he sat down next to her at a DART station and began masturbating.

"I want to ask her can he come to her chambers and do what he's been doing the victims out of on the street?" Hart asked. "He doesn't need to be in society. He's a menace to society."

WFAA interviewed Stroggins earlier this year after his January arrest for masturbating on a DART train.

"A lot of times my pants sag because I don't wear a belt," he said.

Stroggins promised he would keep his pants pulled up when and if he was let out of jail.

"I gave my life to God and I'm going to do the right thing," he said in that interview.

Stroggins declined a jail interview request after his most recent arrest.

The first time Stroggins was accused of indecent exposure in Dallas County was in February 2015. A woman spotted him masturbating in public at a DART station in downtown Dallas.

The next month, a Richardson apartment manager told police that Stroggins acted like he was asking about apartments. She looked up to see him masturbating as he held a cell phone in one hand.

Dina Alsaid, a Richardson mother of two, encountered Stroggins in a laundromat in April 2015. She had just dropped her children at school.

She says she heard a rustling sound, looked to the right and saw Stroggins in the bathroom with the door open masturbating. The only other person in the laundromat was an elderly woman who left without noticing what was going on.

Alsaid ran to her car and called 911. She says Stroggins just watched her make the call before he finally took off on foot. Police found him and took him into custody.

In June 2015, while he was in jail, Stroggins repeatedly called a hotline number at Parkland Memorial Hospital for rape victims, according to court records. He made 73 calls to the hotline. He hung up 40 times. He made obscene comments in several of the calls, records show. That led to a harassment charge.

Stroggins pled guilty in September 2015 to two counts of indecent exposure and harassment. Alsaid's case was dismissed as part of a plea deal. He got a 150-day jail sentence. That plea deal, required him to register as a sex offender.

He was also put on for four years of probation for felony evading arrest in Hawthorne's court.

In May 2016, Stroggins got four years of probation for failing to register as a sex offender.

The next month, prosecutors sought to revoke his probation. He had failed to maintain a valid address and used marijuana. He told his probation officer that he rides the DART system so that he will be cool, "not sweat and get pimples" because he needs to "look good."

Hawthorne denied the request to revoke his probation.

They filed another motion to revoke in December 2016 because he'd used marijuana and failed to participate in sex offender counseling.

Stroggins was arrested that same month at the Parkland ER after a nurse reported seeing him masturbating in the hallway. She said he was looking directly at her.

He told WFAA that his pants just "kind of fell."

Hawthorne released him January 6 on a personal recognizance bond. That meant he did not have to pay any money to get out.

Stroggins was back in jail 16 days later after a woman spotted him masturbating on a DART train in Richardson.

Prosecutors filed a motion to revoke in February over the new indecent exposure charges. Again, Hawthorne declined to revoke his probation.

In April, prosecutors filed their fourth motion to revoke. This time they cited his continued usage of marijuana and that he had been kicked out of sex treatment and banned from returning. According to the motion, "He was found approaching women at the facility, holding his crotch, and telling them how beautiful they looked."

The motion said that because of the way he did this, the women felt "uncomfortable and scared."

That same month, he wrote a letter to Hawthorne, telling her: "I miss you. I mean you've always gave me a chance. I want to see your radiance face. I feel close to home when I'm in your presence. I also just wanted you to hear from me."

The judge denied the motion to revoke. He was released July 2.

When Hart heard the judge had yet again refused to revoke him and that he had yet again been accused of exposing himself to a woman, she decided to go see the judge. She took the elevator to the seventh floor.
She waited patiently for the judge to take time to talk with her.

When the judge came out, she asked Hart to approach the bench. She told her that she would be “violating her code of conduct” as a judge if she talked about the case without the defense or prosecutors being present.

When Hart tried to tell the judge that her purpose was to prevent her cousin from getting out to victimize more women, the judge again reiterated that she could not talk about the case due to her ethical obligations.

The judge directed her to talk to prosecution and her cousin’s defense attorney.

“That’s just the law,” the judge said.

Hart was less than satisfied by the Hawthorne’s matter-of-fact manner.

“She did not want to talk to me at all,” she said.

Alsaid was angered and upset to hear that Scroggins had been allowed back out the streets and had been accused of the same thing yet again.

“I just wish Judge Hawthorne would do her job and sentence him,” she said. “She needs to understand the severity of this. It's affecting society. By her being lenient she is telling the victim that she doesn't care.”

Both Alsaid and Hart worry that something far worse could happen.

Prosecutors plan to file yet another motion to revoke Stroggins. It remains to be seen what the judge will do this time.

Hart promises that she’ll be back every time her cousin’s in court. 

“He shouldn’t be exposing himself to anybody else but the toilet,” she said. “He’s not sick. He’s a pervert.”

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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