Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

John Navarro

Other federal exonerations out of Texas
On February 26, 2019, Deputy U.S. Marshals arrested 43-year-old John Navarro in Odessa, Texas on a charge of failing to register as a sex offender. The arrest warrant said that on February 8, 2019, Navarro was not registered as a sex offender with the Ector County Sheriff’s Office.

In 1998, Navarro had pled guilty in Del Norte, Colorado to attempted sexual assault on a minor. He admitted that he had fondled the genitals of a half-brother and engaged in a sex act. Navarro was sentenced to three years in prison and required to register as a sex offender.

He had moved to Odessa in 2013 and by 2019 still had not registered as a sex offender.

On April 15, 2019, Navarro pled guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas to violating the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act. He was sentenced to one year and nine months in prison.

Navarro was released on August 6, 2020. Under conditions of his supervised release, he was required to avoid viewing pornography or sexual images. On March 17, 2021, Navarro was arrested and accused of violating the terms of his supervision by viewing sexual images on his cell phone. On April 1, 2021, his supervision was revoked, and he was sentenced to 11 months in prison.

Navarro was released on February 14, 2022, again subject to supervised release for five years. On May 24, 2022, he was arrested for failing to attend three mandated sessions of a sex offender treatment program. His supervision was revoked on August 15, 2022, and he was again sentenced to 11 months in prison.

Meanwhile, his appellate attorney had appealed Navarro’s conviction to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, arguing that Navarro was not required to register as a sex offender in Texas.

The prosecution agreed. The prosecution noted that offenders convicted of offenses in another state that are similar to such offenses in Texas are required to register for life. However, offenders convicted of “attempt” of a reportable offense are required to register for only 10 years following release from prison. Navarro “finished his prison sentence for [the Colorado] crime in [July] 2001. Thus, his 10-year obligation to register ended in 2011, years before he moved to Texas and long before he was arrested for failure to register as a sex offender,” the prosecution said.

On October 28, 2022, Navarro was released on bond pending a decision by the appeals court.

The appeal, which was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, was finally decided in November 2022. The Fifth Circuit vacated Navarro’s conviction and ordered the case dismissed.

The appeals court said that under the federal statute, Navarro’s duty to register expired in 2016. The court declared that “affirming Navarro’s conviction would undermine the integrity of judicial proceedings by permitting the continued punishment of a man who is not guilty of the crime charged.”

On December 15, 2022, the charge against Navarro was formally dismissed.

– Maurice Possley

Report an error or add more information about this case.

Posting Date: 1/5/2023
Last Updated: 1/5/2023
Most Serious Crime:Sex Offender Registration
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2019
Sentence:1 year and 9 months
Age at the date of reported crime:43
Contributing Factors:Inadequate Legal Defense
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No