Another Slap On The Wrist For The Child-Fondling Doctor

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Here's today's criminal justice system tip: If you're going to plead guilty in Harris County to repeatedly fondling young girls -- some of whom you're related to -- make sure you're a doctor. And we're not talking podiatrist, here.

Hair Balls suggest you be a cardiologist, like Jeffrey Klem, who pleaded guilty March 9 to two counts of "injury to a child."  He received five years' deferred adjudication on both counts and was spared having to register as a sex offender, as would've been required if he was found guilty of the original charges of "indecency with a child."

We've written about Klem before. In 2007, he pleaded guilty to three counts of injury to a child in Jefferson County, also receiving deferred adjudication However, Jefferson County really knew how to lay down the law, when it comes to dudes who touch little girls: He was sentenced to jail for six months -- on the weekends.

When you're a cardiologist, you can afford to hire Dick DeGuerin -- and what assistant district attorney wants to go up against him? DeGuerin will also defend you in the media, too, like the way he did when he told the Beaumont Enterprise that Klem never molested anyone, and he only pleaded guilty to be done with the whole mess. And then DeGuerin might also work in a dig about how, since the parents of the children filed a civil suit against Klem, it must be all about the money.

But Rilea Treadway, the mother of one of the girls, tells Hair Balls that there are probably better ways to make money than dragging yourself through the courts for years.

"There's no way that they could pay us for what we've gone through, as far as I'm concerned -- especially the children," she says, adding later, "One of the things that we had hoped to do is be an example for other people. That maybe are going through this and don't feel like they have a voice to speak up and protect themselves or come forward....I'm not real happy with how it turned out, because I'm not convinced...that he's in a position that he can't do this to someone else."

Treadway said she felt "misled" by the District Attorney's office, partly because she thought Klem was being charged with a first-degree felony, and not a third-degree.

"We weren't extremely happy with the way it turned out," she said. Although she did say she and her daughter were glad the ordeal is finally over.

Rilea's daughter Ashlyn, one of the girls he pleaded guilty to "injuring," tells Hair Balls, "It's like he gets the red carpet because he's a doctor. And if it would have been any other man, you know, they would have gone to prison."

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