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HomeLiberty CountyDA Says Nightmare of a Man Guilty of Unthinkable Acts

DA Says Nightmare of a Man Guilty of Unthinkable Acts

…and he’s committed them for the last time!

COLDSPRING, TX- As children and adults everywhere shopped for scary Halloween costumes, San Jacinto County First Assistant District Attorney Rob Freyer faced off with a real-life monster, who mercilessly preyed upon at least two helpless victims for years. One victim was a 7-year-old girl, and the other was a 60-year-old intellectually and physically disabled woman with the mental capacity of a young child.

Freyer made sure he’ll never hurt anyone again.

The sickening story begins in 2020, when the disabled woman made a sexual assault outcry to the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office. Unfortunately, the wheelchair-bound woman, who is stricken with cerebral palsy, became frightened of pursuing charges and told San Jacinto County officials she would simply try to avoid the predator. She was no longer cooperative, so the case was filed away and lay dormant until Freyer ran across it.

Freyer revisited the case, and as the details unfolded, he became determined see justice. Freyer learned 72-year-old James Messer sexually abused the disabled woman-child for a decade, taking advantage of opportunities when her sister / caretaker was out of the house. Since they were all closely related and lived on the same property, Messer had easy access. The investigation revealed Messer penetrated her vaginally and anally and fondled her breasts. The victim was incapable of stopping him from rolling her over, or arranging her in whatever position was necessary.

The outcry occurred only after the woman’s cousin walked in unexpectedly and witnessed the abuse. Like most sexually abused children, the victim was conditioned to fear the abuser, and believed if she crossed him, no one would be able to protect her. She indicated she was unable to sleep at night after her initial outcry, worried Messer would come into her room and hurt her. However, Freyer says it didn’t appear Messer was even aware of the 2020 outcry, since the Sheriff’s Office failed to pursue charges after the victim became uncooperative.

Anyone who knows Rob Freyer knows he’s not someone who gives up, especially when he’s outraged by a crime. Little, if anything, is more outrageous than the victimization of someone helpless or innocent, and this victim was both. Freyer was a man on a mission, and he secured an indictment and warrant for James Messer’s arrest. Messer had only one arrest on his record. It occurred in 1969 and was not a sexual assault. That is not to imply these were his first only victims.

Freyer says SJCSO Sgt. Sheikh Omar and DA Investigator Martin Montalvo were instrumental in the case reaching a swift and just conclusion, and he commended them for “standing up for the victims in this case”. On Monday, they arrested Messer at his home, on the warrant for second-degree Sexual Assault of a Disabled Person.

Tuesday brought another shocking event, when Messer was questioned and immediately confessed. Not only did Messer readily confess sexually abusing the disabled woman, he also confessed to sexually assaulting the 7-year-old granddaughter of the woman’s sister/caretaker.  Freyer said Messer showed no remorse.

Freyer was surprised by the turn of events, but immediately saw the confession as an opportunity to spare the victims from more harm. Freyer took Messer’s age into consideration when he offered the confessed predator a plea deal.

James Norman Messer pleaded guilty to Sexual Assault of a Disabled Person in exchange for a sentence of 20 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Messer will be 82 years old before he’s eligible for parole (if he’s still alive).

“He’s a despicable human being,” Freyer said. “At least he had the sense to plead guilty and keep his 60-year-old and 7-year-old victims from having to see him and sit in front of him.”

Neither victim had to answer more questions or testify and Messer won’t have the opportunity to damage more children or adults. Freyer said he was surprised and pleased at how swiftly the case was concluded. He said the 7-year-old’s mother had relocated their part of the family and indicated she sought counseling for the child.

The Halloween holiday is fast approaching, and Freyer hopes parents will not allow children to trick or treat unsupervised.

“If any parent ever met James Messer, they would have second thoughts about letting their kids go out and trick or treat.”

Freyer also said pursuing and imprisoning Messer sends a clear message to predators that such behavior will not be tolerated in San Jacinto County.

James Norman Messer
James Messer arrest
Messer’s yard
Messer’s yard
James Messer’s home

EDITOR’S NOTE: Of course, not all child predators look scary like Messer. Some look and seem like decent people, which is why it’s so important not to give in to the temptation to allow children to wander, even in upscale gated communities. Another safeguard is to check the DPS Texas Sex Offender Registry. People can anonymously search by name, address or zip code. The results show recent and past photos of the offender and provide information about where and when they offended, the precise charge, and the age of the victim when the crime occurred. 




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