CLINTON/VAN BUREN COUNTY (KATV) -
It took him nine years to register as a sex offender.
It took four years to get him before a judge after being charged with several felonies.
But at long last...the state's case against Jerry Don Hausler is coming to a close.
It remains to be seen what the punishment will be for Jerry Don Hausler. But if it was the strategy of the attorneys who have represented him was to drag this out for several years in hopes that the delay would benefit Hausler, it appears to have worked.
In the late 80's Hausler molested at least two young boys while working as a house parent at a Masonic home and school in Texas.
Hausler completed ten years of probation, underwent intense therapy, and moved his wife and four kids to Mayflower in 2000.
What he failed to do...was register as a sex offender.
Hausler later moved to Van Buren County and for nearly a decade stayed off the radar. Hausler didn't re-offend...but he didn't follow the law and register either (until Texas authorities called and inquired if he was registering).
Eventually Hausler was charged...twice...with failing to register as a sex offender.
He was also charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
Over the past several years more than a dozen delays have been requested by Hausler's attorneys (Little Rock attorney John Wesley Hall requested the first three and Clinton attorney Ralph Blagg requested all the others) and have been granted by Judge Ed Clawson.
Nearly six months ago Prosecutor Cody Hiland talked about the challenges all those granted delays can create.
"The lapse of time presents problems with witnesses and that sort of thing," Hiland told us when we first reported on this situation on May 8th. "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."
And here is how justice played out Monday morning in Clinton: two of the charges against Hausler were dropped by Deputy Prosecutor Chris Carnahan. No reason was given. Hausler pleaded guilty to the lone remaining charge...failure to register...and will be sentenced December 19th.
Will Hausler get jail time?
Last week Mr. Hiland told me that they would ask for jail time for Hausler, but in court his deputy told Judge Clawson there would be no recommendation from the prosecution...that sentencing would be totally up to the judge.
Air date: October 28th, 2013