Former Rockdale mayor’s sex charge downgraded to assault

Darral Gene Walker, 75, of Rockdale, originally indicted for an indecency with a child charge, was offered the opportunity to plead guilty to a lesser included Class A assault charge, and he agreed. Walker served as the Rockdale mayor from 1974 to 1976.

ROCKDALE — A former Rockdale mayor, originally indicted in June by a Milam County grand jury for indecency with a child, won’t have to register as a sex offender.

Darral Gene Walker, 75, of Rockdale, was offered the opportunity to plead guilty to a lesser included Class A assault charge, and he agreed.

Walker was placed on two years deferred adjudication probation with sex offender terms and conditions of probation. He was ordered to pay a $2,500 fine and restitution to be determined later, according to Milam County court records.

“He was evaluated and is undergoing treatment as a term and condition of his probation,” Milam County District Attorney Bill Torrey said Thursday.

Torrey referred the Telegram to Steve Morris, Walker’s probation officer, to get information on the terms and conditions of probation for Walker.

Morris said that since Torrey, the prosecutor, made the plea arrangement, Torrey should answer the Telegram’s questions. He said the Milam County Probation Department doesn’t make plea arrangements.

“This (plea arrangement) came from the prosecutor’s office, so it is more appropriate for you to talk to Mr. Torrey about this,” Morris said.

Torrey said, “I don’t know all of the details about the terms of his sex offender probation.”

Torrey explained why Walker’s charge and conviction was downgraded to a misdemeanor.

“The big emphasis is he’s 75 years old. No prior criminal record and is in treatment, as well as on probation, which means if he violates he can go to jail,” Torrey said. “His psycho-sexual evaluation, apparently, determined that the public is not at risk.”

Torrey said that the victim’s witness coordinator told him that the victim’s mother wasn’t upset at the proposed plea bargain.

The Milam County District Attorney’s office has 350 criminal cases, Torrey said.

“See, if he’s not going to agree to register as a sex offender, we have a trial. The trial happens, the little boy has to testify,” Torrey said. “Whatever happens, if you convict the guy, he takes it on appeal for three years and doesn’t have to register.”

Torrey said that the District Attorney’s office has limited resources.

“There have to be some kind of moot cases. It happens every day in a DA’s world.”

A copy of the indictment said Walker engaged in sexual contact with a child younger than 17 years of age by touching the boy’s genitals. Walker admitted that the events happened at his home in Rockdale, but said it was for purely educational reasons, not for sexual gratification.

Walker wasn’t arrested until after the grand jury indictment. He was booked on May 24 into the Milam County Jail and was released the same day after paying $40,000 in bail.

He served as the Rockdale mayor from 1974 to 1976.