Local News

Convicted Sex Offender On House Arrest Seen Walking Down the Street

Posted March 7, 1999

— A convicted sex offender with a history of mental problems is out of prison. Rex Haislip is staying at his mother's home in Durham. Haislip was convicted of five sex offenses in eight years.

He has spent time in jail and mental hospitals, but neighbors are nervous about his latest address, because Haislip is now on house arrest. He can leave home only to visit his parole officer, and he must avoid contact with girls under 15 years of age.

An electronic device monitors Haislip's whereabouts at all times. If he leaves home, probation officials are automatically notified.

That is how house arrest works. So why was Haislip wandering around his neighborhood this weekend?

"We were told by his mother, and she knocked on a few doors where she knew they had children, not to go out of the house," said neighbor Angelique Soto.

Haislip is back home on Bivins Street in Durham, living in the same neighborhood as one of his young victims.

"Twenty-four hours a day, we know if he's in that residence or not," said probation officer Tim Price.

As a convicted sex offender, Haislip has to wear an electronic monitoring device on his ankle. But just hours after Haislip was released from prison on Sunday, neighbors saw him walking down the street.

"We were under the impression that he had his device on upon being released," Soto said.

Tim Price is Haislip's probation officer. He put a monitoring system on Haislip Sunday night after neighbors called the police.

"We notified the house arrest officer, Mr. Price, and placed this individual under electronic house arrest the same day, once we learned he had been wandering in the neighborhood," James Ellis said.

Probation officers have 72 hours to install the system after a convict is released. Haislip did not violate the law when he left the house Sunday, because the system was not installed yet.

Price says house arrest is nearly impossible to beat.

"We're notified within minutes whether he cut the band, turned it off or unplugged it. Anything he can do, we know about it," Price said.

It is not just law enforcement that is monitoring Haislip. His neighbors are watching him, too. Soto and her 4-year-old niece live next door but not for long.

"Are we on house arrest with him so that we can't go out either? A few of us plan to move already," Soto said.

Now that Haislip is on house arrest, he could go back to prison if he violates it.

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