Joint cooperation between Dublin police and the Erath County Sheriffs Department led to the apprehension and arrest of a man accused of sexually assaulting two teenage girls.
Michael Lee Cantero, 19, a registered sex offender from Comanche County, was arrested Oct. 31 and charged with two counts of sexual assault. Cantero also faces felony-fleeing charges following an attempted escape. He is being held in the Erath County Jail on a $60,000 bond.
Cantero was previously convicted of online solicitation of a minor, a 13-year-old girl, and served six months in jail. He was released in June. Cantero was on probation and required to register as a sex offender.
According to Deputy Randy Fowler, Cantero was living with family in Comanche County and got a job at a convenience store in Dublin less than a month after his release.
Fowler said it was in Dublin that Cantero violated the stipulations of his probation and allegedly sexually assaulted two 14-year-old girls.
“Shortly after his incarceration, Cantero defied the order to have no contact with juveniles,” Fowler said.
Fowler said Cantero’s arrest came after outcries from his alleged victims. Each of the girls told their families about the alleged sexual assault. The families contacted Dublin Sgt. Ken Drozeski to report the crimes. Since one of the offenses occurred outside of the city, Drozeski contacted the sheriffs department, and an investigation began immediately.
“Shortly after speaking with the second victim and her family, two warrants were issued for Cantero’s arrest,” Fowler said. “He was picked up by Dublin Police Corporal Bobby Mendez and Officer Richard Hyatt. The officers went to his place of employment and arrested him.”
While Cantero was arrested without incident, he later tried to escape from custody. Fowler said while Judge Latrelle Cain was Mirandizing him, he ran.
Mendez and Hyatt pursued Cantero on foot. Each of the officers were injured in the chase, which finally led to Cantero being tackled in a rock covered parking area outside the Dublin Courthouse Annex. For his failed attempt at escaping, Cantero is also charged with felony fleeing.
Cantero also failed to register with Dublin police as a sex offender and faces revocation of his probation.
If found guilty of sexual assault, a second degree felony, Cantero faces two to 20 years in jail and a maximum fine of $10,000, for each offense. Felony fleeing, a third degree felony, carries a sentence of two to 10 years in jail and a maximum fine of $10,000. He also faces additional time behind bars for violating the conditions of his probation.
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Sex Offender Registry, Cantero is required to register as a sex offender until May 2028.