A Houston man who’s already a registered sex offender is facing a fresh sex-related felony charge.

Jerry A. Tharp, 52, of 17809 Highway 32 at Licking, is charged with enticement of a child (actor 21 years of age or older and child less than 15 years of age) after allegedly sending lewd photos of himself to a 13-year-old girl. He is held with no bond.

Investigation began when a male child contacted the TCSD to report that a man had been sending nude photos to the girl.

An investigating officer made contact with the girl’s grandfather and guardian, who corroborated the claim and helped the officer observe evidence.

Tharp is already a registered sex offender and was charged with a felony last June for being too close to the Raymondville Picnic (within 500 feet). He was convicted of first-degree statutory sodomy in May 2005, stemming from a 2000 incident involving a 4-year-old Licking girl.

The range of punishment for the charge Tharp now faces is imprisonment for not less than five years and not more than 30. Court officials might label him a “persistent sexual offender,” in which case he could be in prison for life without the possibility for parole.

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