When a Sex Offender Moves In…

INDECENT LIBERTY MINOR
Conviction Date: 10/23/2000  Victim’s Age: 6
SEX EXPLOIT MINOR 2ND DEGREE
Conviction Date: 3/29/2007  Victim’s Age: None Reported

Take a moment to absorb that.

That’s how my morning started.  To be more precise, I was sitting at my day job – multitasking as always – when I had an email pop up from Family Watchdog alerting me that a registered sex offender had moved near me (‘near me’ covers a pretty broad area of my town).  Generally, I click the link, see where the registrant is living and check out the picture of the offender and his/her convictions.  Rarely do I ever see anything that is truly alarming to me.

See, I know to take convictions etc with a grain of salt.  ‘Indecent Liberties with a Minor’ can mean a whole lot of different things in NC, and I know that everyone who ends up on the registry isn’t a true threat to my children.

Still, when the email showed up, I clicked the link and immediately noticed that not only was this new registration close, but in my neighborhood.  Still, grain of salt.  I clicked the link to see the convictions…. then I freaked.  Not one, but two sexual offenses against a minor, and the second, the sexual exploitation of a minor in the 2nd degree, that is bad.  Bad.

My stomach turned and I literally lost the ability to think.

Google.  Go to Google.  I typed in that second conviction, and within a matter of minutes had confirmation of what I already knew.  It was bad.

§ 14-190.17. Second degree sexual exploitation of a minor.
(a) Offense. – A person commits the offense of second degree sexual exploitation of a minor if, knowing the character or content of the material, he:
(1) Records, photographs, films, develops, or duplicates material that contains a visual representation of a minor engaged in sexual activity; or
(2) Distributes, transports, exhibits, receives, sells, purchases, exchanges, or solicits material that contains a visual representation of a minor engaged in sexual activity.
(b) Inference. – In a prosecution under this section, the trier of fact may infer that a participant in sexual activity whom material through its title, text, visual representations or otherwise represents or depicts as a minor is a minor.
(c) Mistake of Age. – Mistake of age is not a defense to a prosecution under this section.
(d) Punishment and Sentencing. – Violation of this section is a Class E felony. (1985, c. 703, s. 9; 1993, c. 539, s. 1197; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 2008-117, s. 4; 2008-218, s. 3.)

I know that’s a whole lot of legal jargon, but anyway you slice it, bad.  And to think, as far as I know the original charge could have been worse and could have been plead down to this.

I haven’t mentioned yet that I can see this house from my back yard, and thus he could see my children from his.

I reached out to a friend with some police connections, but before I even heard back, Google had once again not failed to disappoint.  It’s amazing what you can find out about someone… including their full criminal history – if you just know where to look.

His other offenses include assault on a female, simple assault (not the same incident) and multiple, multiple charges for failure to register his new addresses when he moves.  I’m going to assume the fact that he just came off of an 18 month jail stint for that particular office in October of 2012 influenced his decision to register the current address.

I understand that everyone deserves a place to live, I truly do, but is a neighborhood full of children an acceptable place of residence for someone with a history like this?

For now, I’m still digging and still processing.  I’m alerting the neighbors I have a relationship with, but not much beyond that.

What would you do in my situation?

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4 Responses to When a Sex Offender Moves In…

  1. Chris Garner says:

    Jennifer, I honestly DON’T know what I would do in this situation. As a father, my first instinct would be to confront him directly. Nicely, but to the point. I also would do a sit-down with my girls (even though I know you have one who would have trouble understanding at this age). Unfortunately, they may have to understand much more than you would like for them to right now. We want to keep them sheltered, but we live in an ugly world. Better to be forthright with them than keep them in the dark.

  2. Honestly, I would tell everyone in your neighborhood … distribute flyers, etc….
    1. you owe it to all the parents and children in your neighborhood
    2. hopefully he will be so uncomfortable he will move ( a similar situation happened in our old neighborhood & eventually the offender moved)
    3. Do NOT feel bad about it. This is not “gossip.” This is someone that can change a families life forever! (and not for the good)

  3. I don’t have children but this guy seems to be a menace to society. I would do everything legally possible to make his living near me miserable. He will want to leave. This is not a person who could be rehabilitated. Good luck with however you choose to handle it.

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