One Dozen Delays
DENNARD (KATV) - When told we were looking into her husband's criminal past, an exasperated Geraldine Hausler pointed out that his crimes took place over 20 years ago.
And there is no evidence his sexual crimes continued past the age of 26.
But a new court date is three weeks away.
Jerry Don Hausler will be 50 years old later this year. He and his wife and their four kids and have called Arkansas home for 13 years.
But his Texas past has caught up with him.
Three and a half years ago Isaac Barger found out Hausler, his best friend and business partner is a convicted sex offender.
"The next day I showed up at the shop and we were talking and I was almost in tears and I asked him...I said...make it better," recalls Barger. "I saw something on the Internet about you. Help me understand what I saw J.D. And his response was if I saw it on the Internet it's probably true."
What Barger saw was a link created by an organization called "Ministry Safe."
It features J.D. Hausler, describing him as "charming and friendly, loves kids, good looking, a seminary student with no prior criminal record."
But it added a couple things Barger didn't know, including the fact that Jerry Don Hausler molested boys in Texas.
A month earlier officials in Texas had called Hausler to ask why he hadn't registered in Arkansas as a convicted sex offender.
"After Texas had contacted him he went up to the Van Buren County Sheriffs Office as if he had just moved into the state of Arkansas...filled out the sex offenders registration...and that was it," says Barger. "Even though he had been living here for nine years previous to that."
In 1989 Hausler was a house parent at Masonic Home and School in Fort Worth.
Hausler was convicted of fondling two eight year-old boys...but years later many more boys came forward with allegations.
In 2005...after more than 100 years in operation...the weight of all the resulting lawsuits shut the youth home down.
After completing ten years of probation and intense therapy in Texas Hausler moved his wife and four kids to Mayflower in 2000.
They later moved to Dennard (north of Clinton) in 2006.
But it wasn't until 2009...just before his confrontation with Barger...that Hausler visited the Van Buren County Sheriffs Office and registered as a sex offender.
During his screening and risk assessment, Hausler admitted to offending "eleven boys ages 9 to 11".
He blamed the crimes on a "lack of impulse control."
When asked if he used his role as an authority figure to offend, Hausler said "Of course."
Arkansas assigned Hausler a "Level 3" sex offender status...which is high risk.
Because of that status it was against state law for his wife to home school their children, but she did.
Hausler has not been charged with that offense.
But he does face three felonies: failing to register, failing to update his status, and possessing a firearm.
Three years after his initial arrest, Hausler has yet to set foot in an Arkansas courtroom.
"The lapse of time presents problems with witnesses and that sort of thing," says prosecutor Cody Hiland.
Circuit Judge Charles Ed Clawson has granted a dozen requests for continuances made by Hausler's first defense attorney John Wesley Hall and current defense attorney Ralph Blagg.
"The court is the referee over this process," says Hiland. "And again...there are a lot of considerations that go into the decisions he makes relative to motions of continuance. Justice grinds slow but hopefully it grinds exceedingly sure. And that is our goal. Our goal is to get it right...not get it fast."
Unless another continuance request is granted, a pre-trial hearing for Jerry Don Hausler is set for May 30th.
We reached Hausler by phone on Tuesday. He said he couldn't talk right now and hung up. We reached him again on Wednesday and he said he had no comment on the pending charges.
Air date: May 8th, 2013