Former cop on trial in sex registration case

Daniel Casas claims failure to register as sex offender was mistake

A former China Grove police officer is on trial for failing to register as a sex offender.

In 1991, Daniel Casas, 50, was given deferred adjudication in a sexual assault of a child case.

And a portion of the charge -- indecency with a child -- was expunged from his record.

He then went to work as a police officer in several jurisdictions, including China Grove.

He was arrested for failing to register in 2011 and resigned from the force.

"The man was in denial about the fact that he was a sex offender," prosecutor Patrick Ballentyne argued to the jury on Thursday during closing arguments in Casas' trial. "He had an obligation under the law to our community to register because he was."

"A lay person could easily believe that he had an expunging order," Raymond Martinez, Casas' lawyer argued.

In 2006, the law was changed, requiring sex offenders to register for life.

Martinez said his client simply made a mistake by not registering under the requirements of the new law.

For a list of recent stories Paul Venema has done, click here.

About the Author: