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Groveton Times - Local News

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Police apprehend sexual predator, search for another


GROVETON – Groveton Police Department recently dealt with two cases involving sexual predators and teens, and has advice for parents. On April 14, Damon Allen, 34, of Hillister, in Tyler County, was arrested for second- degree felony Online Solicitation of a Minor after the mother of a teenage girl noticed Allen interacting excessively with her daughter on Facebook. The mother turned her daughter's phone into the police, who then discovered Allen had sent the teen inappropriate messages, and allegedly tried to get her to meet with him. Chief Raiford of the Groveton Police Department said Allen may have been communicating with other teens as well. On April 18, Groveton PD released the name of Herman Steel, 46, who allegedly sexually assaulted an 18-year-old. Chief Raiford said he hoped that someone in the public would come forward with information that could help law enforcement locate the perpetrator. Steel is accused of driving the 18-year-old female victim to a remote location after a party on March 27, sexually assaulting her, and threatening to use a gun on her. The mother of the victim reported the alleged assault to the police, who obtained a warrant for Steel's arrest. Steel was not found at work the Monday following the incident. Chief Raiford said Steel has ties to the Huntsville and Crockett areas, has a background in making money with woodwork, and drives a tan crew-cab Chevy pickup. Chief Raiford encourages parents to look at their children's phones, and to turn phones in to the police department if they suspect that a sexual predator has been communicating with their child. "Be aware of what your kids have on their phone. It's not an invasion of privacy for you to check their phone from time to time," Chief Raiford said. "Parents need to know who these children are talking to."


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