WILMER, Texas – A registered sex offender running for mayor of his small town said late Friday that he hopes voters can overlook his 2004 arrest in which he was caught in a police sting trying to arrange sex with a 15-year-old girl on the Internet.
Brian Sliter, who is seeking office in Wilmer, said he accepts responsibility for his arrest and has received counseling that has helped "turn my life around."
"I don't expect anybody in the public to condone what I did and I don't expect anybody to forgive what I did," said Sliter, 42. "What I do hope is people look at my current character ... . People can rehabilitate and make themselves a better person."
The incident occurred in 2004, when Sliter went to a home where police, and not a teenager, waited for him. Sliter was charged with attempting to commit sexual assault of a child and placed on 10 years probation, according to state records.
Sliter is eligible to run for office in Wilmer, a town of about 3,400 just south of Dallas, because he was never convicted. He received deferred adjudication, which means he will not be convicted if he successfully completes probation.
"Someone told me, `Make something positive come from this,"' Sliter said. "I feel really bad about it, really embarrassed about it, really awful about it. I am really glad there is no direct victim. I thank God for that every day."
Sliter, an accountant, began regularly attending City Council meetings last year because he was concerned about commercial development in his neighborhood. He accuses city officials of being overly chummy with developers and conducting city business in a secretive manner.
He said he knew his candidacy would attract attention, plenty of it negative. Sliter has been open about his arrest, even mentioning it in a campaign flyer. He gives himself a 50-50 chance of defeating incumbent Mayor Don Hudson.
Hudson has said having a registered sex offender as mayor would embarrass the city.
The election in Wilmer is May 10.