On the night of August 31, 1995, 17-year-old Travis Iosue went over to a neighbor's house to hang out. He says it was an ordinary evening of watching TV and horsing around. The next day, a young girl who had been at the neighbor's house accused Iosue of touching her breast. He ultimately spent 16 years behind bars for the crime and faces a lifetime on the sex offender registry for something he says he never did.
Lisa Ling first investigated Iosue's case on "Our America with Lisa Ling" 18 months ago and returns to Texas to follow up in a new episode of the show. While his time behind bars is over, Iosue, who has had mental health issues since childhood, now faces a new life sentence: registered sex offender. But now, he's hoping to secure a deal that could end his parole and remove his name from the registry.
In the above video from Thursday night's episode, Iosue explains what happened that night.
"We were hanging out and one of the girls was babysitting some kids," he says. "They were in the back room. We watched some TV and we smoked cigarettes, and then the girls came in and one sat on my lap."
Iosue tells Ling he didn't touch the girl at all. "No, just to push her off," he says. "Who wants a little girl in their lap?"
Later on, he says one of the girls started yelling at the top of her lungs. "She just said, 'I hate you, get away from me' and she just started running down the street," Iosue says.
"You didn't touch her breasts?" Ling asks.
"No, ma'am, I did not," Iosue says.
Ling reads the police report, in which the girl states that Iosue told her to unbutton her top, and she did "as was instructed." She says someone opened the back door and she rebuttoned her top, ran home and changed her clothes.
"Well that's just B.S.," Iosue says. "I was never in a room by myself, there was no time for any of this. If someone opened the back door, someone there would have said that they saw something. That don't make sense."
Iosue was charged with Indecency with a Child and was put in jail to await trial. He denied the accusation and two sisters who were also at the neighbor’s house came forward to say that they didn’t see anything happen.
Despite that, Iosue pled guilty to his charge. He says his court-appointed attorney told him that it would get him out of jail. "My attorney said that you had to plead so you could get out to go home," Iosue says.
For his plea deal he received five years probation that included a curfew and no interaction with minors. Iosue violated his probation by hanging out with other neighborhood teens. He went back to court and was sentenced to 20 years in prison, of which he served 16.
Today, Iosue must wear a GPS monitor so authorities can keep him under constant surveillance. He must live at a halfway house and can only leave the premises for approved visits. He’s already violated his parole several times -- but a new deal between the current District Attorney and his lawyer could see him released from parole and, ultimately, removed from the sex offender registry.
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