HOUSTON—A woman from northeast Harris County is on a mission to make sure children who are victims of child predators get justice.
Sonia Parker founded an advocacy group called Parents Against Predators and while she is absolutely doing "what’s right." We need to warn you that some parts of this story deal with things that are horribly wrong and disturbing.
"Kidnapping. That’s little Kendrick. This baby here was raped," said Parker.
"I don’t want you to forget who these faces are. I don’t want you to forget," she said.
Parker is on a one-woman mission is to save kids from predators and keep offenders locked up.
"I’m just trying to do something to stop it, to let people know we care. We’re here. And I don’t understand why. I don’t understand why they allow these people to get out of jail and walk the streets and be in the community," she said, speaking of convicted sex offenders.
Parker alerts residents to sex offenders living in their neighborhoods, she constantly posts online updates on sex offender information and missing children, and she holds rallies to educate children. She staged one recently at a northwest Houston apartment complex.
Parker employs face painters and balloon animal artists to entertain the children and experts in self-defense, stranger danger and ministers to educate the children.
Her reasons for starting her advocacy group are quite personal. Parker says she was sexually and physically abused by a relative when she was a child.
Two cases that shocked the nation motivated Parker to start Parents Against Predators a couple of years ago.
One case was that of Shaniya Davis of North Carolina, who authorities say was traded for drugs by her mom. Hotel surveillance cameras caught a man carrying her into a hotel room. She was raped and later murdered in November of 2009. Mario Andrette McNeill was charged with her brutal murder.
The other spurred Parker was that of Emma Thompson. The spring girl died from blunt force trauma at the hands of her mother’s boyfriend. The four-year-old was also sexually abused and infected with herpes. Lucas Coe received a life sentence for brutalizing and killing Emma Thompson.
"Those two cases prompt me to say, ‘Hey! I need to stand up and speak out and do something,’" Parker said.
Even though she has a criminal past that includes theft and forgery charges, Parker said she doesn’t let skeptics or naysayers deter her.
"My past wasn’t pretty and I decided to change my life around. And when I changed my life around I put my focus on all positive things," she said.
Parker estimates that she and her husband, an Iraq War veteran, have spent about $15,000 of their own money on Parents Against Predators for t-shirts, banners, rally supplies and other materials.
She said she will keep fighting the good fight against child predators as long as there is breath in her, no matter the cost.
Parker’s organization can be found at protectchild1.org