Advocates For Victims Hope That Audrii Cunningham's Passing Will Lead To Changes In Texas Law

Livingston, Texas: After 11-year-old Livingston resident Audrii Cunningham was discovered dead in the Trinity River beneath US-59 approximately six days after her disappearance, victim advocates are demanding change.

Don Steven McDougal, the man accused of capital murder in connection with her demise, is friendly with the family and resided in a trailer outside the house where Audrii and several of her relatives lived.

McDougal is a former criminal with a 2001 rap sheet. Over the past 20 years, he has been arrested multiple times in the counties of Harris, Montgomery, and Liberty.

McDougal was found guilty in 2007 of purposefully luring a minor away from Brazoria County. Texas does not compel persons found guilty of this misdemeanor to register as sex offenders.

Legislators and campaigners express regret that laws honoring children who have died must be named in order to protect other children, but they are optimistic that Audrii’s case will result in much-needed reform.

Andy Kahan, Crime Stoppers of Houston’s director of victim services and advocacy, is aggressively working to rectify this situation.

“I’ve already been in touch with several state senators and state representatives who, like everyone else, was just horrified and dumbfounded that this wasn’t already an offense that you had to register,” he stated.

With Kahan’s support, more than 25 pieces of legislation have been passed. With the appropriate wording, legislation created in the Cunningham case ought to garner support from both parties.

A child might be enticed with a multitude of various activities. Thus, the phrase on which we will need to pay close attention is that which pertains to convictions for luring minors and where the violation clearly has a sexual overtone, as was the case in this instance, according to Kahan.

Kahan advises everyone to get in touch with their state senators and reps in the interim.

“Say, we want to get Audrii’s law passed,” he responded.

According to Kahan, he is working with state legislators to prepare a bill that will be presented in January 2025 during the upcoming legislative session.

By Caleb Anderson

Caleb, a seasoned journalist with a passion for storytelling, has dedicated his career to bringing the latest news to the public. With a keen eye for detail and a commitment to unbiased reporting, He navigates the dynamic world of journalism, covering a wide range of topics from local events to global issues. Caleb's insightful articles reflect his dedication to keeping readers informed and engaged in the ever-evolving landscape of news.

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