LAKE JACKSON — Ryan McIlhenny served a 100-day jail sentence for indecent exposure, but just hours after being released Tuesday, he had made his way to a Lake Jackson clothing store and committed a similar offense, police said.
This time, however, his actions rise to the level of felony attempted sexual assault,police said.
Lake Jackson police arrested McIlhenny on Tuesday on charges of indecent exposure and possessing prescription drugs without a prescription. For those misdemeanor charges, he was being held at the Brazoria County jail on a $55,000 bond, where he remained Friday afternoon.
On Wednesday, however, the Lake Jackson Police Department requested the additional felony charge of attempted sexual assault be added to McIlhenny’s case. He is accused of exposing himself and making physical contact with a female employee, according to a probable cause affidavit for the arrest warrant.
The additional charge stems in part from further investigation by Lake Jackson officers, said Administrative Lt. Bryan Sidebottom.
Given the evidence, McIlhenny’s history and the threat she said he poses to the public, Brazoria County District Attorney Jeri Yenne said she was “comfortable” in charging him with the felony. McIlhenny’s criminal record includes three indecent exposure arrests and two previous charges of attempted sexual assault.
“The public does not deserve to be subjected to this,” Yenne said. “They don’t. How many times is this man going to walk into a store and subject an innocent person in a public setting to this by making contact and exposing himself? I will choose the higher charge.”
The 40-year-old West Columbia resident first faced an attempted sexual assault charge in 2013, when he pleaded guilty and received six years probation. His sentence stipulated he undergo a sex offender treatment program.
He violated that probation, however, and in 2014 was sentenced to five years in prison. Having served the full length of his sentence, he was released without supervision in September. Shortly thereafter, McIlhenny committed indecent exposure at a retail store in Clute and served 100 days in jail for the misdemeanor, according to court records.
If convicted of attempted sexual assault this time, McIlhenny could face up to 20 years. Yenne said it is her intent “to send this man back to prison for a significant amount of time, well beyond five years.”
“Lots of times cases get resolved,” she said. “My goal is that this individual needs a significant penitentiary sentence or to face a jury to determine one or the other.”