(ROCKWALL, TX – Oct. 8, 2019) On Tuesday October 8, 2019, a Rockwall County jury convicted Houston resident Richard Dick Joles, 61, of the third degree felony offense of Exploitation of an Elderly Individual. After the same jury heard additional punishment evidence, they sentenced the defendant to seven (7) years in prison.
Jurors heard testimony that on November 20, 2017, the defendant entered the home of his 82-year-old victim without her permission and began telling her that she needed roof repairs. The victim repeatedly refused to hire the defendant, however Joles continued high-pressure and aggressive sales tactics. The victim said she was scared and eventually paid the defendant almost $3,000 for unnecessary roof repairs. A professional roofer later examined the “repairs” performed by the defendant and determined their value to be less than $150.
Rockwall Police Detective Jalena Page received the criminal complaint and testified that she was able track down the defendant through the use of bank surveillance videos and other photographic evidence. A bank employee also testified that the victim sounded confused when they were attempting to confirm the transaction.
After finding the defendant guilty and during the punishment phase of trial, the jury learned that the defendant was a repeat offender and that he was on probation for a similar case in the state of Iowa at the time he committed the Rockwall criminal offense.
“This case should serve as a stern warning to those who prey on the elderly in Rockwall County,” said lead prosecutor Jeff Hill. “The jury sent a strong message that law enforcement will continue to do everything they can to protect the vulnerable from predatory contractors like Mr. Joles.”
“These types of cases are startling but all too common,” said Rockwall County District Attorney Kenda Culpepper. “Please take time to talk to your elderly parents and friends and caution them about aggressive sales people who come to their residences. It’s OK to say ‘No thank you’ and shut your door.”
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