Water Tower Now Off-Limits to Sex Offenders

FRESNO, Calif.                   |   Watch Video Above for Extended Coverage   |

City officials complained to the State Parole Office after Action News discovered the offenders were using the plugs. Parole Supervisor Gomer Piearcy said his agents have now warned their clients to find another place to re-charge.

"We are exploring all avenues to find them adequate charging sites," said Piearcy.

As a temporary fix an extension cord has been strung outside the parole office. But it only has three outlets. Parolees can also use outlets inside the building during office hours. But they have to recharge every 12 hours, and even after hours this cord is not big enough to serve everybody. The trouble is most of the parolees live in a homeless camp, without power, or any other services.

One resident told us, "It would help if we had a bathroom, electric power, a lot of stuff, but we don't and they are not going to provide if for us."

A state law, Prop 83, called Jessica's law, keeps most neighborhoods off limits to sex offenders. Because they would be too close to schools parks and playgrounds. It's a problem in all California cities. Of the seven-thousand sex offenders being monitored five-thousand are living on the streets. In a ruling on Monday the State Supreme Court questioned the legality of the law.

Action News Legal Analyst, attorney Tony Capozzi said Jessica's law could eventually be overturned. "What the Supreme Court is saying is that this law, Proposition 83 is very ambiguous and it may be too vague to enforce if that's the case it is unconstitutional.

But it's still the law. State Parole agents who enforce it note forcing offenders to live on the streets makes it tough not only for them to plug in but more important it makes it difficult for them to reintegrate into society.

"The truth is they are citizens of the community. They are all going to get off of parole one day and they are going to live out here with us," said Piearcy.

He adds that more plugs may be added outside the parole office or at another location downtown.

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