Mother of Rape Victim Calls D.A. Lax on Sexual Offenders - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

04/16/03 - Athens

Mother of Rape Victim Calls D.A. Lax on Sexual Offenders

A Henderson County man is in jail, charged with sexually assaulting his autistic step daughter. But the girl's mother says the District Attorney is mishandling the case. Now the woman is asking anyone she can for help, to prevent her daughter's attacker from getting out of jail anytime soon.

"When I got home, all the doors were locked, and I heard Crystal screaming," said Brinda Milner in her living room in Athens. "And, I started pounding on the door and there was no answer so I ran around to the back and I could see through the window that he was hitting on my daughter. He was hitting her in the head and in the back."

Brinda Milner says after that day, she never left her husband, Lon Milner alone with her handicapped daughter again. She suspected more abuse had been going on, and finally got Milner to confess in a written statement. "As he wrote it out, I just thought I was going to die. I just couldn't hardly stand it."

In the two page statement, Lon Milner says, "I know it hurt her bad because she was crying hard. I hit her in the head hard and slapped her while I was assaulting her. I enjoyed seeing her hurt." He continues, "I knew she couldn't talk and tell on me." And Milner gave his reason for confessing, saying, "I am begging for help, because I can't help myself."

The Sheriff's Department charged Lon Milner for the Aggravated Sexual Assault of a minor. But on Monday, the DA's office called Brinda to tell her about a plea bargain.

"They were going to plea bargain and drop the charge down to Injury to a Child. And, probably he would get 8 years, which means he would be out in 2."

By reducing the charge, Milner would not be placed on the state's Sexual Offender Data Base. Brinda says the District Attorney is endangering the public "She said 'We don't want to do trials. We would rather just plea bargain. That way, they have to do a little time and we get the cases run through.'"

District Attorney Donna Bennett was not available Wednesday to talk about the case. And, her office staff would neither confirm nor deny wether a plea bargain had been reached. But, Belinda Milner insists this case has not been handled appropriately."

"This is supposed to be Sexual Abuse Awareness Week here in Athens. She sure made me aware of what she's doing. She's fixing to turn him loose. He'll go do a year or two and be out and be right back here to do it again."

The case will go before the Henderson County Grand Jury next week. The Grand Jury could indict Lon Milner on a variety of charges. The District Attorney's office would not say which charge they will pursue.

Stephen Parr, reporting.

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