WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Anthony Ryan Patterson, now facing 18 felony counts involving trafficking and sex crimes against children, is no longer allowed supervised visits with family members under the age of 18.
78th District Court Judge Meredith Kennedy on Friday, May 12, 2023, granted a motion filed by the State of Texas removing an exception to Patterson’s bond conditions, allowing supervised visits with family members under the age of 18 with the Court’s permission.
Under Patterson’s original bond conditions, he was restricted from having contact with any person under the age of 18, however, he was able to request permission for supervised visits with minors in his family, such as nieces and nephews, as long as the visits didn’t include any overnight stays and the parents of the children were present.
Investigator for District Attorney’s Office testifies
During Friday’s motion hearing, Brooke Grona-Robb, Assistant Criminal District Attorney in Wichita County, called Joseph Anderson, an investigator for the District Attorney’s office, to testify.
Anderson testified during the hearing that he was one of the law enforcement officials involved in Patterson’s most recent arrest on Monday, May 8, 2023, on six new charges listed in his most recent indictment filed on May 3, 2023.
According to Anderson’s testimony, Patterson was arrested at his mother’s home, where he’s required to reside under his bond conditions. Anderson said Patterson’s mother was “not happy” that he was being arrested again, and that she said he didn’t do anything.
Grona-Robb questioned Anderson about his 25 years of experience with the Wichita Falls Police Department, where he spent time in the Crimes Against Children unit prior to becoming an investigator with the District Attorney’s office.
Anderson testified that in his experience when the family of a person accused of committing crimes against children doesn’t believe they committed the crimes, family members are less likely to be aware of potentially dangerous activity that may be happening to children and are less inclined to watch for bad behavior.
During the cross-examination by Toby Shook, Patterson’s defense attorney, Anderson testified that Patterson was arrested without incident, and that it wasn’t surprising that Patterson’s mother was upset about the arrest.
Defense calls witness on Patterson’s behalf
Following the testimony of Anderson, the defense called Zachary Carlton, a bond supervisor officer, as a witness to testify on Patterson’s behalf.
Carlton testified that he has been Patterson’s bond supervisor since the summer of 2022 and that during that time, Patterson has followed all conditions of his bond without violation.
Carlton testified that visits with his nieces, who are under the age of 18, have taken place in the past with the supervision of the children’s parents as well as the court’s permission. He testified that no criminal activity was reported during those visits.
During the state’s cross-examination, Grona-Robb asked Carlton if a person could commit sexual assault on a child while under GPS monitoring. Carlton said it would be possible for that to occur.
Grona-Robb asked if Carlton had ever checked in with Patterson’s family members following supervised visits to see how they went or if any criminal activity occurred. Carlton testified that he had not.
Grona-Robb pressed the point, asking Carlton if the only way he would learn of potentially criminal activity is if family members self-reported the activity, which Carlton confirmed. Grona-Robb argued that the family is on Patterson’s side, and Carlton responded that he was not qualified to give any testimony on the family.
Carlton then testified that the home of Patterson’s mother, where he’s required to reside, is rather large and sits on several acres. Grona-Robb asked Carlton if GPS monitoring would reveal his exact location on the property, and Carlton responded that it would not.
Counsel for State, defense make final arguments
After the witnesses were excused, Grona-Robb requested that Judge Kennedy grant their motion, forbidding Patterson from making any contact with persons under the age of 18, without any exceptions. She argued that this condition is in the best interest of the community.
As Grona-Robb was making the request, Patterson was observed shaking his head.
Shook countered, arguing that the current exceptions that are allowed with the court’s permission and supervision, granting Patterson the ability to visit with family members under the age of 18, are typical with bonds. He said Patterson has been allowed those exceptions thus far without incident.
Shook also argued that though new charges have been filed against Patterson, they stem from two incidents for which Patterson has been under indictment since 2021, and the only new evidence provided by the state was that Patterson’s mom was upset following his most recent arrest.
Prior to Judge Kennedy granting the state’s motion, Grona-Robb pointed out that the parents of Patterson’s nieces, who would supervise visits, were not present in the courtroom to give input.
Upcoming court dates for Patterson
Patterson now faces 18 counts on two separate indictments for trafficking and sex crimes against children. He’s been arrested two times in recent weeks, on April 25, 2023, and May 8, 2023. On both occasions, he posted his bond the following day and was released.
Patterson is set to appear in the 78th District Court several more times prior to his jury trial, which is set to begin on October 30, 2023:
- An arraignment hearing is set for May 19, 2023
- A hearing on bond conditions is set for June 1, 2023
- A status hearing on a potential change of venue motion is set for July 20, 2023
- A pre-trial conference is set for October 12, 2023