The Justice Journal: Vol. 43 (English)

The Justice Journal: Vol. 43

A look at cases recently prosecuted by the Dallas County Criminal District Attorney's Office.

The Justice Journal

State vs. Adrian Cortes

Aggravated Sexual Assault

Lead: Deborah Bankhead

2nd Chair: Leighton D’Antoni

DA Investigator: Jon Wakefield & Kelly Paul

DA Victim Advocate: Adriana Sellers, Roquel Mayhorn, MacKenzie Kile

Investigating Agency: Dallas Police Department & Dallas County DA’s Office SAKI Unit


In 2001, a woman was loading her 3-year-old toddler into his car seat in the parking lot of their apartment complex, when an unknown man approached her from behind and forced her into the vehicle with a sharp object pointed at her back. He covered her face with her son’s baby blanket and drove her to an unknown location where he proceeded to sexually assault her all while her child was in the backseat. The man then drove to a final location where he left the woman, her son, and the car and fled the scene.


The surviving victim reported the sexual assault immediately and went to the hospital where a sexual assault examination took place, however, the kit from that 2001 examination went untested for nearly two decades.


After 18 years, as a part of the Sex Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) program at the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, the kit was finally tested in 2019 and a case-to-case match provided a new investigative lead for law enforcement. The case-to-case match came from an unrelated, unsolved sexual assault from 1996. In that case, a young, pregnant woman was walking to the bus stop early in the morning on her way to work, when an unknown man, wearing a ski mask, came up behind her, covered her eyes with a jacket, and put a gun to her head. He threatened to kill her if she screamed. He then dragged her to a nearby field and sexually assaulted her at gunpoint and then fled the location. Again, the surviving victim immediately reported the sexual assault and went to the hospital the same day. A sexual assault examination was performed, however, because there were no workable leads or suspects, the case went cold.


Years later, the defendant’s DNA was uploaded to the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) as a result of an unrelated conviction. It finally provided the missing link to connect the two sexual assaults and gave a face to the unknown man who attacked these women.


GUILTY and sentenced to 60 years in prison

State vs. Byron Nelson

Driving While Intoxicated 3rd or More

Lead: Harley Anagnostis

2nd Chair: Gabriela Sanchez

DA Investigator: Aleciah Taylor

DA Legal Assistant: Mildred Gibbs

Investigating Agency: Dallas Police Department

The defendant previously served a prison sentence for Driving While Intoxicated 3rd or More. In June of 2022, he was again driving while intoxicated when he crashed into a young mother with her toddler in the backseat, shattering the back windows and crushing the rear of the vehicle.

GUILTY and sentenced to 10 years in prison + $10,000 fine

State vs. Omni Williams

Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child

Lead: Kalle Riner

2nd Chair: Blake Penfield

DA Investigator: Laura Brakefield

DA Victim Advocate: Flor De La Fuente

Investigating Agency: Duncanville Police Department

The defendant was convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a child under the age of 13.

GUILTY and sentenced to 35 years in prison.


Human Trafficking Task Force -- This is a Homeland Security Dallas-led investigation with assistance from the HSI Dallas Special Response Team, HSI San Antonio (TX), and the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office.

Two HSI Dallas (TX)-led operations resulted in the arrest of 187 individuals for sex trafficking and related federal and state charges.

o In September 2023, HSI Dallas established a large-scale, multi-agency task force to target and suppress the demand that fuels sex trafficking in the Dallas, TX, area.

  • Over a five-day period, law enforcement officers posed as commercial sex workers on various solicitation websites and engaged in conversations with interested customers and traffickers.
  • Once a potential customer agreed to the services and a price, they were directed to a meeting location where law enforcement was waiting to take them into custody.

o During the five-day operation, HSI Dallas arrested 134 individuals and seized a variety of drugs and firearms. Some of those arrested included known human traffickers, people in positions of public trust (teachers, healthcare workers, first responders, etc.), violent criminals, and convicted sex offenders.

o In January, the task force conducted a smaller two-day operation where HSI Dallas arrested another 53 individuals including laborers, engineers, business professionals, truck drivers, attorneys, and accountants.


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