Homeless Sex Offenders on Fresno Streets

October 27, 2009 7:39:05 PM PDT
It's perfectly legal for sex offenders to live on the streets even though the public can't keep track of them.                   |   Watch Video Above for Extended Coverage   |

A GPS ankle monitor must stay on this 60-year-old sex offender. We are not revealing his identity. But we can tell you he lives in a tent under Highway 41 in Downtown Fresno.

The reporter asked, "Your parole officer, where did he or she tell you to live?" The offender answered, "This is one of the areas where they said we should live." The reporter asked, "Why?" Offender answered, "So, they can keep a scope on us."

By law, sex offenders must register with local law enforcement. The state's "Megan's Law" website is suppose to show where sex offenders live, but when we focused on the camp on Topeka street no sex offenders could be found. The law actually allows parolees to be listed as transient- also known as homeless. The California Department of Corrections and Housing states on it's website they are not obligated to provide housing for homeless sex offenders. Parole agents know their location because of GPS signals .

Related Story:
Sex Offender Sanctuary under a Fresno Bridge

ABC 30 Legal Analyst Tony Capozzi says state law is extremely tough, "It's a factor that weights in favor of the public and not in favor of the sex offender." Jessica's Law forbids sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of schools and parks. Critics claim- it pushes offenders to homelessness. The law's author is State Senator George Runner who offers no sympathy for Fresno's growing camp. Runner said, "We are less concerned about whether somebody is homeless and more concerned about the fact that we know where they are. That should be the first concern ... the key issue is the fact that Jessica's law required them to have GPS."

Related Link:
Enter the California's Megan Law sex offender locator site.

So far, no local leader has offered a solution on how to house the city's sex offenders.





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