By Scott E. Williams
The Daily News
Published August 2, 2007
KEMAH — In May, a 56th State District Court jury could not agree on whether a former university official from San Antonio had solicited a girl, 13, for sex.
Wednesday, another panel in the same court took about 20 minutes to find him guilty.
Today, Stacy Michael Maloney, 54, faces that same jury, which will decide his punishment for the charge of online solicitation of a minor.
That punishment could be two to 20 years in prison, as well as a fine of up to $10,000. However, as Maloney has no criminal background, he is also eligible for probation.
In October, 2005, Maloney struck up a conversation in a Yahoo! chat room with a person claiming to be a 13-year-old girl. After 17 hours of Internet chatting, plus a phone call, Maloney had arranged for them to meet in Kemah.
His trip of more than 200 miles ended in his arrest when he reached the meeting place.
His online correspondent had been Kemah police detective Roger Williamson and he had talked on the phone with a female officer.
In closing arguments Wednesday, defense attorney Salvador Faus said Maloney had believed he was chatting with an adult but role-playing.
"It may not be your thing, and it may not be my thing, but that doesn't make it a crime," Faus told jurors.
Faus also said the case involved no real child victim, but prosecutor Rebecca Wood said only Williamson's undercover work kept Maloney from meeting a real child.
"We're asking you not to wait until there is a real victim," she said.
Faus also argued entrapment, saying Williamson "greased the wheels" toward the suggestion of illegal acts.
However, prosecutor Larry Drosnes, last to address jurors Wednesday, said Maloney initiated all sexual discussions and went to great lengths to carry out his desires.
"The man has problems, and his problems have become our problems," Drosnes said. "He brought his problems down here and now we have to deal with them."
The quickness of the verdict caught some in the courtroom by surprise, but Maloney appeared ready. Before the jury returned to the courtroom for the verdict's announcement, he hugged his wife and children, who had sat behind him throughout closing arguments. He also removed papers from his pockets and handed them to his wife.
After the verdict, Judge Lonnie Cox ordered him taken into custody.
Maloney is a veteran journalist and public affairs specialist. At the time of his arrest, he was public information officer for Saint Mary's University in San Antonio.
Go to article