One week ago we got Occupy Dallas's side of the story concerning the sexual assault that took place at its encampment behind Dallas City Hall. Today, we get the official version from the Dallas Police Department, which is reporting that it has arrested Richard Wayne Armstrong, a 24-year-old "non-compliant registered sex offender," for the sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl in late October.
According to DPD, which issued its statement via Facebook in advance of a 4 p.m. press conference, the victim was a runaway from her home in Garland; she was picked up at the camp last week and taken to DPD headquarters after they received a tip that she matched the description of the runaway. She was interviewed by Youth Section detectives, and told them that she had sex with the man in a tent at the encampment; she also said she told the man she was 19. Armstrong was identified as the suspect after an investigation by the Child Exploitation Squad.
According to DPD, Armstrong, who presently sits in Dallas County Jail on $200,000 bond, has been charged with two felony counts: failure to register as a sex offender and sexual assault of a child. According to court documents, Armstrong -- a former Marine once stationed at Camp Pendleton -- has done this before: In January 2009, at a party in Coppell, he sexually assaulted a girl he knew to be 14. When interviewed by Coppell PD and Naval Criminal Investigative Services officers, according to the initial police report, Armstrong acknowledged she repeatedly asked him to stop but said he "had no power over my body."
He would eventually plead guilty to the charge in May 2009 and received 10 years' probation for the assault, and was fined $2,500. But court records show he violated terms of the agreement that September. Court records show he came in contact with a child under 17, failed a polygraph test, attempted to move out of the county and was "unsuccessfully discharged from sex offender treatment." Matter of fact, Armstrong's been in and out of Dallas County courts since early October, when, on October 10, a judge denied his attempts to revoke community supervision.
Moments ago, we received an email from an Occupy Dallas member who said he didn't know if the girl had arrived at the camp with her assailant or had met him there. "Everything I've heard from camp is that she arrived with a man the day before she was arrested," our source wrote. "If he is guilty of this, he deserves everything that's coming to him. Truly disgusting. I hate that it's important to me, but I hope we can distinguish if she met him at Occupy Dallas or came to camp with him. I hope she gets the help she needs, regardless. What a horrible thing to go through."
Messages have been left for Frank Librio at Dallas City Hall to see if today's news affects the city's agreement to allow Occupy Dallas to remain on City Hall property.
Update at 4:50 p.m.: Frank Librio, City Hall spokesman, says via email that "this is an isolated incident, and any further details would jeopardize the police investigation and subsequent prosecution. Occupy Dallas continues to cooperate with the Dallas Police Department and the city as per the agreement. DPD will continue to enforce state and local penal code at the OD site."