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Texas man serving life sentence for child sex abuse quickly captured after escape

Robert Yancy Jr., 39, is shown after his capture by Texas law enforcement agents on Monday, less than 24 hours after escaping from the Clemens Unit in Brazoria, Texas. He had been serving a life sentence for child sex abuse. Photo courtesy of Texas Department of Criminal Justice/X
1 of 4 | Robert Yancy Jr., 39, is shown after his capture by Texas law enforcement agents on Monday, less than 24 hours after escaping from the Clemens Unit in Brazoria, Texas. He had been serving a life sentence for child sex abuse. Photo courtesy of Texas Department of Criminal Justice/X

Dec. 18 (UPI) -- An inmate who escaped from prison while serving a life sentence for child sex abuse was recaptured Monday after less than a day on the run, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said.

Robert Yancy Jr., 39, was apprehended at about 8 a.m. in Matagorda County, located about 90 miles southwest of Houston, less than 24 hours after his escape from the Clemens Unit in Brazoria, Texas, authorities said in a social media post.

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Yancy now faces felony escape charges.

Two others also were arrested in Victoria, Texas, in connection with the escape, officials announced. They included Yancy's mother, Leonor Priestle, who was charged with facilitating an escape, and Russell Williams, charged with criminal intent to escape.

Prison officials credited local and state law-enforcement agencies and the Texas Office of Inspector General for assistance in the search for Yancy and his arrest.

Prior to his arrest, Yancy was last seen at about 3:38 p.m. Sunday in a 2021 white Nissan Versa wearing a black beanie and a black sweater.

The Brazoria County, Texas, Sheriff's Office said it ran the vehicle's license plate through its statewide license plater reader system, which returned a hit indicating the subcompact car was in Victoria County at about 6:10 p.m. Sunday.

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The Victoria Police Department later said in a statement that officers pulled over the white Nissan at about 8:25 p.m. during a traffic stop and arrested Priestle.

Jail records indicate that Yancy was sentenced to life in imprisonment without parole on May 18, 2022, for the charge of continuous sex abuse of a child.

He was convicted by a jury, which heard evidence during trial that Yancy repeatedly abused a child over a three-year span starting in 2018 when his victim was seven years old.

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