Bond Set For Former Plano Minister and Accused Sex Predator

By: Kristen Ross Email
By: Kristen Ross Email

Bond has been set for former Plano minister and accused sexual predator Joe Barron.

District Judge Travis Bryan ruled that Barron will pay $15,000 for each of the four charges of online solicitation of a minor. Police say those charges stem from sexually explicit conversations Barron had with a police officer posing as a 13 year-old girl on the Internet.

The State was asking for the bonds to be set at $100,000, the defense meanwhile was looking to get something much less.

"We hoped to get a bond around $50,000 for these charges, and it's $60,000 so I'm not disappointed," Barron's Attorney Billy Carter said. "I thought under the circumstances it's a pretty fair bond."

Friends and family were at the court house Friday in support of Barron.

Barron's wife also testified that they didn't even have the means currently to pay the $100,000 bond for the similar charges Barron faces in Louisiana. That is where Barron will be extradited once bonding out here.

As far as Friday's bond hearing goes, there are some terms and conditions that he must follow once getting out.

"Given the nature of the offense, I thought GPS monitoring to ensure we know the location of where Mr. Barron is would be appropriate," Assistant District Attorney Danny Smith said. "Also, no unsupervised contact with children under the age of 17 given the charges. As well as surrendering his passport."

Another condition of his bond is "in person bond supervision." That means he'll have to come Brazos County and meet in person for designated meetings while his trial is pending.

Sargent Shane Bush, the Bryan police officer who ran the departments online sex sting, testified Friday about the conversations he and Barron had.

The defense asked the court to take into consideration that there was no real victim hurt in these alleged crimes.

However Bush says, "That's the definition of a vice crime. There's no real victims of a drug dealer, there's no real victims of prostitution, and in this case there's no real victims. Which is exactly what vice crimes are, and that's exactly why we have a vice crime unit."

During Bush's testimony, Barron often buried is head in his hands, and even shook his head no, when the officer stated that he had identified himself as a 13 year-old girl to Barron.

It was last month that Barron was first arrested, after police say he drove more the three hours to meet up with who he thought was a 13 year-old girl to have sex.

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