A registered sex offender moved in near my house. What, if anything, should I do?

Yesterday I got an e-mail from the sheriff’s department’s sex offender notification service that a registered sex offender moved in to the development next to ours. We moved to this neighborhood (suburb of Charlotte, NC) this past June. We have 2 children, 4 and 1. Part of me feels like I need to do something with this information, but what? We’ve passed the information on to some of our neighbors. What else is there to do? The information I got doesn’t delve very deeply into his history, but I believe that people who prey on children are sick, and usually recidivists.

Has anyone else had a similar experience? Any advice?

Are you even sure that he committed offenses against children?

The only thing I have to go on is the record information that was linked in the notification. It says he was convicted in 12/03 of “Indecent Liberty Minor.”

You will probably be surprised how many sex offenders live near you.

Do a google search for Megan’s Law. It will direct you to sites that can give you info on the registered sex offender in your area.

If a convicted murderer moved in next door to you, you would not get such a letter. Same for an embezzler. The only offense that triggers it is past sex offenses, including some rather minor ones and convictions obtained thru plea bargaining.

Yet I’m not aware of any studies that show that murderers, once they have served their time, are not likely to reoffend, yet sex crime perpetrators are.

So you should not be unduly alarmed without further investigation. (Not all sex crimes are against children, for example.) The letter reveals more about what society considers offensive than the actual criminal.

You’re not compelled to do anything. Other than that, don’t let your kids play over at his house unless you’re there. And don’t flirt with the guy.

The green squares say that they denote “other offense,” and most of the ones near where I live are green. The others are for offenses involving children, sexual battery or rape. Is green for things like exposing oneself (i.e., non physical contact)?

Temporary “Tramp Stamp” tatoos directly above your children’s asses.

If you can read this, I’m going to put a bullet in your head

Askeptic, I understand there are others in the area, but this one is very close. Maybe I’m over-reacting…

Can you find out what were his crimes?

“Being a sex offender” could include such things as being caught having gay sex in public. Hardly anything to be scared about.

Getting listed as a sex offender if pretty easy. Even the ‘minor’ in question can be fairly old (17?) in some cases. So unless you can find out what he did, I suggest doing nothing. If you do find out he is a dirty little child rapist, try to keep children away from him. he might be under an order to stay xx feet away from children so you may want to report him if he violates that, but you have to know it for sure of course.

It could include taking a drunken leak behind Walmart.

Well, the letter said “Indecent Liberty - Minor” so, while some sex offenses don’t involve children, I think it’s safe to say this guy’s did. Indecent liberty with a minor is common terminology here in NC for sex offenses with children. Now, that doesn’t tell us 15 year old or 5 year old, if that matters. If you’re really curious what he did, you might find something by checking newspaper archives.

Personally, I’d limit my reaction to, if I encounter the guy, not to let him near my kids. If I notice he’s coaching a kids’ sports team or similar, I’d mention it to someone at the organization. I don’t think pitchforks and bonfires are called for.

Thanks everyone. I’m somewhat calmer now. Avoidance with caution is probably best, although I do plan a drive by (observation, not shooting…) to see what type of vehicle he has, etc.

I agree with those who are telling you not to panic. Using the “family watchdog” page, I note that some of the “sexual offenses against children” actually list victims who are 18+, and don’t note how old the offender was at the time of offending. One of the people with a red square in Newark, Delaware, was BORN in 1992. Creepy predator? Or curious teen with bad judgement?

I did not mean to imply that you are over reacting, quite the opposite actually. There are people who prey on kids it is good to know where they are. Not saying that everyone listed as a sexual offender preys on kids. Little known fact is that a convicted sex offender can apply to have name taken off list for minor offenses like indecent exposure they just need to prove to the host of the list that they were not convicted of a predatory offense against a child or a violent sexual offense.

This is a tough issue for me and unfortunately it is one that I often face because of my job. On the one hand I feel that people who do their time should not continue to be punished. On the other hand can/should a child rapist ever be forgiven? The child will certainly never get over it. Not every person on sex offender lists is a rapist though.

I agree with the others. Don’t panic, but learn what you can and take sensible precautions. Now is a good time to start talking with your four year old about good touching, bad touching, listening to his/her feelings, and telling a trusted adult when something isn’t right.

I have no doubt that anyone can “apply” to have a name removed. But is there an actual, practical appeals process (national? state?) to do this, and if so, is it often used? Ever used?

I was under the impression that “once branded,” you were on the list for life and pretty much out of luck.

Most courts have held that there must be some element of sexual arousal or gratification associated with the crime to require registration as a sex offender. Not saying it does not happen.

My state is one that requires arousal, nevertheless two highschool seniors were convicted of indecent exposure for “mooning” the other team at a football game and required to register. A better lawyer than the one who originally represented them (I won’t say who) got the registration requirement removed and got them off all SO lists.