Antoine Demetrius Degrate (Jail photo)
WACO (February 11, 2014) Antoine Demetrius Degrate pleaded guilty Monday to three charges Monday in connection with the sexual abuse of a child and was sentenced to state prison.
Degrate, 39, pleaded guilty to indecency with a child (habitual), attempted aggravated sexual assault of a child (habitual) and failing to register as a sex offender (enhanced), rather than go to trial.
Judge Ralph Strother, in 19th District Court, sentenced Degrate to serve 45 years on the indecency and attempted aggravated sexual assault charges and to 15 years on the failure to register charge, and then ordered all three to be served concurrently.
"Antoine Degrate is a habitual predator who will be spending the foreseeable future in prison, McLennan County Assistant District Attorney Gabrielle Massey said after the judge’s order.
McLennan County children are safe from this pedophile due to the courage of a young girl."
The charges stemmed from a June 19, 2013 incident during which a
12-year-old girl reported she was solicited for sex and improperly touched as she rode on a city bus.
The girl reported the incident to the driver of the Waco Transit System bus, Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said at the time.
The driver confronted the man the girl identified, but the man jumped off the bus at a stop and ran away.
Police reviewed video from a security camera on the bus and from that were able to identify a suspect and obtain a warrant naming Degrate, Swanton said.
When members of the U.S. Marshal's task force attempted to arrest Degrate last June, he ran into his house and then back out.
He was later taken into custody on the front porch of the home, Swanton said.