Crime Stoppers leader pushes to change sex offender registry laws after Audrii Cunningham’s death

LIVINGSTON, Texas – Don Steven McDougal is no stranger to jail. His latest capital murder charge is just another addition to his long list of crimes.

McDougal is accused of killing 11-year-old Audrii Cunningham. Investigators said McDougal was supposed to take her to the bus stop Thursday morning, but she never made it on the bus. McDougal, lives in a camper behind her family’s home, according to detectives.

KPRC2′s Corley Peel spoke with Rebecca Attaway. She is best friends with Audrii’s mother.

I feel like this could have been prevented,” Attaway said.

Attaway said she was shocked to learn about McDougal’s conviction in Brazoria County in 2007.  In that case, documents revealed he attempted to engage in sexual contact with a girl under the age of 17. He was accused of removing the girl’s undergarments. The original charge was attempted indecency with a child, according to court documents. Records show he pled guilty in 2008 to a lesser charge, enticing a child.

The documents clearly state that he was basically doing things to an underage child that is against the law. However, he didn’t complete the actual sexual act. Therefore, the original charge was attempted indecency with a child. Then it was pled out to enticing a child, and that is actually a class A misdemeanor. However, it can be enhanced to a felony if there is an attempt to arouse sexual gratification, which is what happened in this case,” said Andy Kahan, Director of Victim Services at Crime Stoppers of Houston.

According to Texas law, enticing of a child means someone who interferes with custody of a child.  Based on the nature of the 2007 crime many have wondered why McDougal didn’t have to register as a sex offender.

The law stated he was not required to register.

Kahan said he plans to meet with state senators and representatives to change the law.

“We’re going to add this on the list of offenses that will register as a sex offender in the state of Texas. Mark my words, it will get brought up, it will get passed. And if you know and if so be it. I will name the new law after the 11 year old girl,” Kahan said.

Attaway hopes the change can be made.

“I think that for any crimes against children, there should be a registry for that,” Attaway said.

About the Author

Corley Peel is a Texas native and Texas Tech graduate who covered big stories in Joplin, Missouri, Tulsa, Oklahoma and Jacksonville, Florida before returning to the Lone Star State. When not reporting, Corley enjoys hot yoga, Tech Football, and finding the best tacos in town.

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