Local News

Bill would further define limits for sex offenders

Posted May 20, 2009

— Registered sex offenders could be banned from more places under a bill in the General Assembly that would change the existing rule that keeps them 300 feet from places primarily catering to children.

Under state law, sex offenders cannot be at schools, children's museums, day cares, playgrounds or other locations intended for children.

{{a  href="external_link-5185193"}}House Bill 1317{{/a}} would specify additional places from which registered sex offenders would be banned, such as a movie theater showing a G- or PG-rated film.

The bill would also loosen restrictions on sex offenders who have children. For example, they would be allowed to drop their children off at school.

Chapel Hill police investigator Lee Sparrow said he is watching the bill closely to see what happens. It passed the House earlier this month and was referred to a Senate judiciary committee on Wednesday.

He said he would like to know more about the proposed legislation and more details about how it would work. What still has to be clarified is how far a sex offender can be outside the establishments from which they are banned.

Sparrow arrested two registered sex offenders this month who were within the 300-foot perimeters of a Chapel Hill school and children's museum.

Leigh Sparacino, a Chapel Hill mother, said she will also watch the bill, but she thinks restrictions likely won’t do anything more to protect her daughter.

"Statistically, she has a much greater chance of being injured or molested from someone she knows personally – a family friend or a teacher or a coach, or something like that," Sparacino said.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • Bendal1 May 21, 2009

    If this keeps up only certain islands on the Outer Banks and some isolated mountain hollows will be acceptable for sex offenders to live. Already there are states where it is physically impossible for a sex offender to stay without violating the restrictions on living too close to a school, church, daycare, etc.

    But, that may be the point; drive them out of one state and into another one, where it doesn't matter. Just get rid of them somewhere else.

    I agree with those saying only those found guilty of assaulting children should be given these kinds of restrictions. What does it serve to label a 17 year old as a sex offender that has sex with his 16 year old girlfriend, for example?

  • pebbles262004 May 21, 2009

    it says that sex offenders that have kids could drop them off at school under new bill.....if you are a registered, convicted sex offender of minors they shouldn't have custody of the children or be left alone with them............i AGREE

  • FoxtrotUniformCharlieKiloakaCALM May 21, 2009

    C'MON not letting them go to the movies? If we are that "concerned" about the safety of our children, where is the concern that children going to see G and PG movies aren't already with a responsible adult that would keep them safe from child predators? Same concept as MySpace and Facebook, why bust an adult from having a profile on there and not the child you're protecting from the bad adults? There are too many parents out there dropping kids off, letting them do whatever they please, and dresssing like they are 20 something when they are only 12. I'm more concerned about that issue than some dupe at the movies.

  • Alexia.1 May 21, 2009

    As Leonardo hinted, I think the law needs differentiate between those who commit acts against children vs. all the rest. According to the bill now, if two siblings who are 40 years old commit incest or if one is found guilty of "indecent exposure", they are "Tier I" offenders and are subject to all of the same rules of "keep away from children". I certainly do not view such actions as reason to cause concern for my kids' safety. And in some states, sex between 18 and 17 year old kids is illegal, so I assume they would be registered "offenders". So, those two kids get married and are now 30 years old, but may not be able to go to a museum, state fair, etc.

  • mom2threecld May 21, 2009

    it says that sex offenders that have kids could drop them off at school under new bill.....if you are a registered, convicted sex offender of minors they shouldn't have custody of the children or be left alone with them.

  • haggis basher May 21, 2009

    I heard on NPR that in Miami they have a law you can't be within 2500 ft of somewhere that children gather if you are ANY kind sex offender. Result is there is only one place in Miami that meets those restrictions....a squatters camp under a bridge on a causeway...........now when they get out of jail they get dropped of there....
    They are allowed to go anywhere during the day to work but they have to stay at the camp to stay legal. How in any practical way does this stop them from re offending? If anything it will drive them underground or let them get together with others of the same inclinations.....

  • Panther May 21, 2009

    It’s just one politician just trying to out due another. It gives them bragging rights for the nest election. “I JOE BLOW have spent the last (XX) years in Raleigh fighting the evils of society” And the same song, third verse goes on while naive people believe t hem and vote for them again. The whole thing about sex offenders has been blown way out of proportion.

  • Leonardo May 20, 2009

    What kind of sex offenders are we talking about here? If it's pedophiles, then it makes sense. If it's some 18 year old that got caught with his 17 year old girlfriend, or someone who 'distributed child pornography' by sending a naked cell phone picture of themselves, then I'm against it.

  • jones27530 May 20, 2009

    After a while they won't even be able to leave their house. Whatever happened to paid your debt to society? If they are still a threat then they need to be still in jail.