Former Llano ISD bus driver and paraprofessional Jay Lynn Robertson, 56, pleaded guilty during a pre-trial hearing in a Burnet County Court Thursday to two counts of indecency with a child.
Robertson faced a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. As part of the plea agreement he was given a 10-year deferred adjudicated sentence, and will be required to register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life.
Robertson resigned his position with Llano ISD in January of 2009 for "personal reasons." He was indicted three months later.
Documents indicate one of the two charges to which Robertson pleaded guilty occurred in January of 1996. The victim in that incident was a female, but the other victim was male. Both were under age 10.
Defense Attorney Richard Davis said, "This case was set for trial twice, and on one of those occasions we came to the point of selecting a jury. In light of the circumstances, the defendant felt the plea offer was best for him and his family. He was not convicted, and that was important to him.
"This brings an end to a long and tumultuous ordeal for our family that has spanned over 35 years," a spokesperson for the family said. "There are numerous victims, and although the statute of limitations does not allow him to be prosecuted further for any cases prior to 2010, we know many others have stories. They should feel free to call the local authorities and tell as we have. It will make a difference. Our solace is that he will be a lifetime registrar of the sexual predator list. If he chooses to sexually assault again, he will be prosecuted."
Assistant District Attorney Cheryl Nelson said, "I want everyone who’s ever been a victim in this case, or any other case, to come forward." Nelson explained that, although charges cannot be brought against Robertson for offenses that occurred prior to September 2010, such information could be important in the future should Robertson violate the terms of his probation."
According to Assistant District Attorney Greg Connor the Texas legislature eliminated the statute of limitations for child sexual assault cases in 2007. Legislators, however, did not make the law retroactive, so statutes that were in effect at the time of such offense occurred still exist.
Nelson detailed the statute for cases prior to 2007. "It all depends on the age of the victim," Nelson said. If the victim came forward before the age of 28, charges could be brought against the offender. For crimes committed since the statute was eliminated there is no statute of limitations."
"We wanted that (to eliminate the statute of limitations) to happen," Nelson said. "Sometimes people need more time to come forward and talk about their situation."
The Texas Attorney General’s office says the following could be signs of child sexual abuse:
· Physical signs of sexually-transmitted diseases
· Evidence of injury to the genital area
· Difficulty in sitting or walking
· Frequent expressions of sexual activity between adults and children
· Pregnancy in a young girl
· Extreme fear of being alone with adults, especially if of a particular gender
· Sexually suggestive, inappropriate or promiscuous behavior
· Knowledge about sexual relations beyond what is appropriate for the child’s age
· Sexual victimization of other children.
The Attorney General’s office says, "If you are the first person the child tells about sexual abuse, your testimony as an "outcry" witness may be especially important in future legal proceedings. What you say the child told you is not considered hearsay, but is admissible evidence in a trial involving a sexual offense against a child. This exception applies only to the first person the child approaches."
In addition to being a school bus driver and Llano High School In-School Suspension paraprofessional, Robertson was an ordained Baptist minister in locations that included Mason, Llano and Buchanan Dam.