Joey Dauben Crusaded Against Child Porn. Now He's Accused of Assaulting a 15-Year-Old Boy.

Dauben1.jpg
Photo by Patrick Michels
Joey Dauben, who now sits in jail in Navarro County
Perhaps you've heard by now: Joey Dauben, publisher of the Ellis County Observer and several other small-town papers and websites throughout North Texas, has been indicted and arrested on charges of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy. The 30-year-old Dauben, who Patrick Michels profiled in an Observer cover story earlier this year, was arrested by Texas Rangers at his grandmother's house in Mabank late Monday afternoon. He currently sits in Navarro County Jail; his bond has been set at $200,000.

Dauben stands accused of three counts of sexual assault on a child, one count of indecency with a child, and sexual contact. All charges stem from an alleged incident in 2007, during a retreat for a now-defunct church, Olive Tree Ministries, at Navarro Mills Lake.

Reached by phone, his friend and video editor Brannon Bridge tells Unfair Park, "Basically, all I know is what's like been printed about it. But I can tell you, I'm 100 percent sure he's innocent."

Dauben, as Patrick mentioned in his cover story, began writing back in February about a man in Ennis who was busted with an apartment full of child pornography, and who Dauben believes is responsible for the murder of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, the decades-old case that led to the establishment of the "Amber Alert" system (although Patrick called the connections between the Ennis man and the cold case "tenuous," and other media outlets, and law enforcement agencies, seem to agree). More recently, WFAA notes, Dauben posted an article on the Ellis County Observer site about "child porn rings" on Facebook, which he called "the breeding ground of a massive, global, inter-connected, sick and sadistic, electronic child porn, child-sex trafficking ring."

Anonymous friends told WFAA they believe Dauben has been falsely accused in retaliation for his reporting. An article posted on the ECO homepage states, "This accuser has a history of falsely making accusations," and posts the bulk of a MySpace conversation from 2007. Both names in the conversation are redacted.

"He spends 80 hours a week trying to expose corruption and fights against this kind of stuff," Bridge says. "He spends so much time and energy just trying to make sure that kids and people who are victims ... have a voice and whatnot." Brandy Owen, managing editor for the Ellis County Observer, posted an update to their blog yesterday stating that she'd received a phone call informing her Dauben has been placed on suicide watch.

Dauben previously served 12 days in jail for publishing the mug shot of a police officer, William Achey, That incident was related to a much longer and more confusing feud between two "gypsy cops," Michael Meissner and John Hoskins. Hoskins accused Meissner of posing as a woman and soliciting nude photos from underage boys, a charge for which Meissner was arrested. Dauben then posted a variety of allegations against Hoskins and other police officers investigating the case; in the process, he published the Achey photo, which came from a computer database that's supposed to only be accessible to law enforcement. Hoskins alleged Meissner paid Dauben $200 to post the photo.

There's an excellent sum-up of the Hoskins-Meissner mess by Mike Orren over at Pegasus News, and a Dallas Morning News article likewise recaps Hoskins and Meissner's lengthy battle. All charges against Dauben and Meissner were ultimately dropped.

Before his tumultuous career as a publisher, Dauben freelanced off and on for eight years for the Ellis County Press under editor Charlie Hatfield.

"Well, I don't have a clue" if the sexual assault charges against Dauben ring true or not, Hatfield tells Unfair Park. "The Texas Rangers investigated it for 30 days before filing the charges. My personal belief is I don't believe the Texas Rangers file charges no reason."

Hatfield also spoke about Dauben's parting from his paper. "My concern with Joey was that he started writing stories based on rumor, not fact," Hatfield said. "We couldn't afford it. The credibility of the paper was at stake. I told him, 'You need to choose.' He decided to be a political activist instead of a reporter."

Nonetheless, Hatfield says, during the time Dauben worked at the Press, "he had a lot of promise. I think Joey has a brilliant mind. The problem is that he's gone to the dark side, so to speak. He wants to write about what he wants to write about, without being subject to the discipline of good journalism."

Returning to the allegations, Hatfield says, "I would never have thought that of Joey. I was shocked and very disappointed." Ultimately, he adds, "I thought he was going to turn things around and be a good journalist. He had the potential of doing that. Sadly, I think he's lost his credibility."

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39 comments
Guest
Guest

"These persons" who consider themselves "crusaders" are usually the ones doing the acts.  I recall this guy's comments last year on a case involving a teacher and student making statements saying that the "parents probably found out about" as well as other comments that would condone such behavior.  He is a crusaders for the cause who also condones it.  Is it any surprise that he participates in it?  Here is hoping you get a big jailhouse D*@k shoved up your ass - you Pedofile.  

Guest
Guest

And, your Sir or Miss, are afraid to identify yourself or  post a profile or photo. I disagree with your suggestion about the crusader as it is used in reference to Joey Dauben, who is a friend of mine.

Now, Miss or Sir Launcelot, ,just what are you crusading against? You sound pretty wound up to me . Or are you just what I suspect? ::  A redneck illiterate homophobic impostor.

 He He

Thegrrl
Thegrrl

Well, I am aware that sex offenders are the one group of probationees who are not allowed internet access. Please do not forget the people in office who have stepped down recently, Judge Knize (Bully on the Bench), the director of Ellis county Probation, Ben Boaz who lost his sex offender counseling license, the director of Kevin's half way house. No where else could you read about this except Joey's online investigations. It seems that it may have been a way to quiet the squeaky wheel. If, in fact, he is gulity he should go through Ellis county's "fine" rehabilitation program for sex offenders. Oh yeah, even if he is not guilty he will be forced to go through Ellis County's "fine" rehabilitation program for sex offenders. Once in counseling with Ben's wife (who has now taken over his practice), if you do not admit guilt, you will be sent to serve your full prison term. Be assured that your request for another counselor will not be allowed, even though the required counselor is friends and has lunch dates with your PO. If you are accused in Ellis county and not on the county payroll, Your probation will be revoked.  Or you could just leave the country if you were an attorney in their court accused of such...they won't take YOUR passport.

Sharon Southers-Allen
Sharon Southers-Allen

Thank you for using your head and speaking the truth about that hellhole. No, Joey was never under any suicide watch! I just spoke with him last week and I still believe in him. I never even wondered as I have know for years of this accusation. Man, I have live a 24 years of hell with my innocent brother. It frightens me at how quicky people jump to believe the worst, without any facts! God Bless You,Sharon

S'Ann
S'Ann

Thank you for the update.

RealitySucks
RealitySucks

As someone who wrote for Joey, I look back now and almost regret all of that, he can be a little far out, but he means well. That's entirely a defense of his character. He'll believe anything, alot like a small child. Joey always had the best intentions though.As for the sexual assault charges, it's no longer matters what we all believe, it only matters what the courts see. Do I think he did it? No. Do I have any proof to back myself up? Other than personal experiences with him, no.Close to Thanksgiving time, I stopped associating and writing for Dauben because of how off the deep-end he went and how biased a lot of his accusations were. He made a mockery of the journalism site I was whole-heartedly trying to turn into a newspaper. My name has become a joke because of his actions and over-zealousness. One thing that I noticed was how...violent he was with his words towards pedophiles and sex offenders. (I'm in no way defending their actions though!) As someone of the Messianic faith, I believe he should be ashamed of the uncalled for things he said. Public execution, bullets to their heads, etc etc are among what he said should happen to them. Karma can be a hoe.If nothing else, maybe this will be an eye-opener and a step into the real world for him. Every vigilante has to take responsibilty for their actions at some point.-Sincerely, Amanda Callendar

Pinkbuttrfliez
Pinkbuttrfliez

Joey is not a Child Abuser. This is such Bullshit. Joey And I used to date a few years ago and we've remained friends.. I've known him for a while now and I am Just so angered over this.

Paco
Paco

I am familiar with Joey Dauben and don't like him.  He apparently does not believe in "Due Process of the Law."  However, in this instance pay-back is hell.  The COPS from the Police State of America are retaliating for his making their world a living HELL.  The arrest and continued incarceration of Joey Dauben is a clear violation of his civil rights.  The ACLU needs to look into this case, but if the ACLU Lawyers show up in Ellis County, the good citizens will probably hang them from the highest tree--after they do the same to dear old Joey.  I cannot believe the wilfull ignorance displayed by the citizens of our exceptional society in this day and time.

BosqueNorse
BosqueNorse

And I am more than angered, I am furious. This nice Christian,, highly intelligent, and handsome young man has been through hell from the public who are envious and out to frame him and accuse Joey of something that he would not even consider thinking about.doing.

And the good for nothing judge handling the case is an incompetent disgrace. to the judicial system.  

Local Yokel
Local Yokel

I've occasionally read ECO for entertainment, much like I'd watch an episode of Entertainment Tonight or read the funnies on Sunday when I want to shut my brain down a little.   But, that was before realizing most ECO posts are nothing more than malicious gossip.   Very little investigative reporting going on there.   ECO crusades to unnecessarily destroy the lives and careers of others.    It appears some posts are tirades fueled by an irrational anger and way too much alcohol.   Guilty or not guilty of current charges is irrelevant, can't un-ring the bell - this is Karma. 

Until Joey was arrested again, I had quit reading ECO because of the anger and ignorance displayed by some of the readers and Joey's open hostility towards females of any age.   Check out You Tube posts by Brannon Bridge aka Gnut23.  Too bad Joey's grandmother didn't tell him what mine told me: choose your friends carefully because you will be known by the company you keep.  

Hdjxidn
Hdjxidn

Regardless of guilt or innocence, his political and journalism career is over. Happy new year to us all indeed!

plain and simple
plain and simple

Comments about his political views and how everything is a huge conspiracy won't matter whatsoever when it comes out who this freak abused a child.  PedoJo shamelessly and viciously attacked innocent people without supporting evidence.  In PedoJo's case  he has been investigated by the Texas Rangers, evidence presented to a grand jury and he has been indicted.  Isn't it funny how his "mission" for his group of loons changed to "investigating abuse cases in order to protect children" shortly after he was interviewed about the incident he was arrested for.  

Where will all the defenders of him be when the trial is held and he is found guilty?

Gadfly
Gadfly

It's hard to judge what is real and what is fake when it comes to Joey Dauben. ·         He has practically nothing but leverages the anonymity of the internet to masquerade as the "publisher and owner" of more "newspapers" than you can count.·         He is sometimes paid to concoct pseudo-journalist hit pieces for use on political opponents.·         His often stated personal philosophy is that everyone (everyone in his mind means everyone who isn't him) who serves as an elected or appointed official is a crook and deserves to be "exposed" and imprisoned for their "crimes".·         He believes that he is ordained by God to be the journalistic equivalent of the Biblical David and is destined to slay a modern-day Goliath using words as a weapon of war.·         He has attracted enough vocal supporters to give his delusion the patina of reality...strange but true.

Erik B. Anderson
Erik B. Anderson

his Facebook profile says "Just know that when one abuses a little child, or one of The People, then there is always going to be a forum -- a very public one -- in which people are going to find out about it."

Guest
Guest

This male was no child. I don't know one things about the so called victim. My evaluation of l what I have read indicates that Joey Dauben was ramed by envious people ho got their feathers rufffled and got caught in the hen house with their panties down as they say down in the back woods of east Texas.  If I were  betting person, I would bet that the young accuser has been set up and maybe have  been promised a sexual favor in return. Or even  was asking for sexual favors himself.

Even if Joey Dauben was interested in a  young man, he would never stoop to  the level of this juvenile underage  delinquent. . He is much smarter than that. No he has been framed for uncovering some illegal misconduct.

Alexander Sin
Alexander Sin

Mr.Sin Says: I actually know Dauben a little, on and he off trecord.. we have spoken and i have studied his character, a couple of months ago, the magazine I'm writing for wanted to pick him up. He's left a lot people feeling odd, confused, or disrespected, or just plain yucky..  He speaks so strangely too..  Saying things about God and how he was appointed by God to do things..  I know some catholic priests that can relate to him very well by now i could say.. I just wanted to help people do the math when it comes to him..  Here it is.Joey Dauben : Age 30, SingleLives with his grandmotherHas arrest record.Runs a pretend newspaper on the internet,(Ellis County Observer) thinks its real because its on the web.Talks about conspiracies and how everything is one..Fights for free speech, but doesnt allow it in the comment sections of his blogsNamed a Messianic Congregation after himself.  (sounds a bit like koresh now)Spoke out for  people who poorly foster cared for children.. ( The foster parents allowed their child to play with sex toys and took photos of it, dauben spoke against the lady caring for that child's sister, who wouldnt let her child see her sister because she wanted to keep her from people who take pictures of babies playing with sex toys) Speaks out against sexual predators and helps child abuse foundations ( sounds like micheal jackson a bit now)

That is all i have and was able to put together this far..  I am sure there is WAY MORE you all out there can come up with and put together with what i have given you to go on.. I am very sure the good people at an ACTUAL newspaper like the Dallas Observer could do that in less than 5 minutes..  Anywho, I am only taking fact and adding my own personal opinion to it as based on my own observation of this guy as i have know him.. I would encourage the rest of you concerned with him to do the same..  Find out ALL the facts.. then make your own decision..  I pray for his sake as well all the children in the worlds sake.. that he is innocent as this would mean there is one less child molester in the world for sure.. God bless you all, Merry Christmas, and GOD BLESS AMERICA

VeniVidiDejaVu
VeniVidiDejaVu

"My concern with Joey was that he started writing stories based on rumor, not fact,"

Well, if that is a problem then the whole news industry is at issue. Hey, we ain't lookin' for FACTS here; we (the consumer) want the dirt!

Axj Member
Axj Member

The international civil and political rights organization known as Action For Justice ( AXJ ) report criminals to local police, the FBI in the USA, and INTERPOL around the world in real time 24/7/365. Please join us any time. www.axj.com

Anon
Anon

No AXJ "is" a pedophile ring posing, as just the opposite of what they really are Google "John Aster" CEO of AXJ..

David Cornell
David Cornell

"and whatnot".  I need to start using that more. I don't even know what it means but I need to start using it more.

Yakuza_Fighter
Yakuza_Fighter

"All charges stem from an alleged incident in 2007, during a retreat for a now-defunct church, Olive Tree Ministries"

Why does it seem that 50 percent of all child sex crimes take places at church retreats, church outings, church gatherings, church basements, church sleepovers, etc?

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

50%? Where does that figure come from?

Restaurantqualityblender
Restaurantqualityblender

It "seems" to Yakuza_Fighter that this is the case.  In other words Yakuza_Fighter "feels" it is as such; therefore he "feels" (there's that word again) that there's no need to back it up with actual statistical data.

Guest.
Guest.

Midday FoxDFW news pointed out that Dauben pissed off the prosecutors by publishing the name of the alleged-molestation victim.  Which he did, in a PDF file that was formerly linked from the ECO page (but was still findable by the Google machine as of yesterday).  That "story" really came across badly -- like he wants to preemptively trash the victim/witness, and it raises more questions than it answers. 

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Sounds to me this guy got close to something..that scared law enforcement enough to swear out a warrant concerning his actions to prevent any unnecessary leaks..20 bucks this is tied to the hagerman cold case..

Erik B. Anderson
Erik B. Anderson

Sounds to me like he's guilty. An innocent man would have a clear conscience, not be put on suicide watch.

mutual grounds
mutual grounds

He is NOT a suicide watch. You have to be careful about rumors that are going around. I know the source of some of these rumors, including the suicide watch one. 

Integrityisbest2011
Integrityisbest2011

It was his dumb a$$ "emergency contact" Brandy Owen that started the rumor.  His own "sidekick" is the one that said it.  I noticed his supporters blame it on the anti-Joey side but look it up on Jokey's side and see that it was that firecracker of a single brain cell.

rawlins.gilliland
rawlins.gilliland

It is critically important in these matters to make certain that we allow the legal process to play out without running in assuming anything you hear or read is true.  If everyone accused & indicted was actually guilty, we would have zero need for trials or a legal 'system'.  I have no knowledge of this case & no awareness of the truth or no pertaining.  But I do know personally what it is to ultimately be vindicated when the 'authorities' had done what they could to destroy my life.  But I also know to to many revenge is sweet.  Whatever the truth, it will come out.  But the truth is, at this time: We simply cannot know.  May the process be fair & honorable.

Crappy Hat
Crappy Hat

so, we aren't able to have an opinion on the matter until the court decides? get over yourself, Joey is now being put under the same scrutiny without proof that he has dished out for too many years. I hope this child molester gets what's coming to him in jail, molesters are at the bottom of the barrel in prison society, enjoy the shanking Joey!

Sanders Kaufman
Sanders Kaufman

I disagree with the wait-for-the-courts attitude.  All they will be able to do is determine the criminality of what he's done.The morally honest thing to do is to look at the facts, and judge for yourself if his sexual activities with children are acceptable or not.To wait for a judge to tell you what is right and what is wrong is to be morally bankrupt.

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