Inadequate Laws Leave Tri-State Schools Vulnerable to Sex Offenders: Investigation Reveals Disturbing Findings

CINCINNATI, Ohio – Sex offenders living near schools in the Tri-State area are receiving protection under current laws, leaving law enforcement with limited options to address the issue. Local 12, after receiving an email from a concerned viewer, looked into this matter.

One example is Daniel, a registered sex offender who lives just a couple hundred feet from Holmes Middle and High School in Covington. His offense, which involved raping a 14-year-old girl, occurred before the 2006 law that prohibits sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school. While Daniel claims the act was consensual and the victim lied about her age, he is technically not breaking the law.

A similar situation exists north of the river, where another sex offender listed his address as an apartment building in Walnut Hills- just across the street from an elementary school. This offender’s offense also predates the 1,000-foot law enacted in Ohio in 2008, thus allowing him to live in close proximity to the school without legal consequences.

Even offenders who committed crimes after the new laws went into effect are able to live in restricted areas without repercussions. This raises concerns among educators and community members, who argue that there should be better systems in place to alert authorities and prevent offenders from residing near schools.

Craig Horn, the principal of Mt. Auburn Preparatory Academy, expressed surprise when informed of a sex offender living near the school. He believes that there should be a screening process to identify such individuals and notify educational institutions of their proximity.

Eunece Ligon, a grandparent whose grandchildren attend Taft Elementary School, also had no knowledge of a sex offender living nearby until contacted by Local 12. This lack of awareness regarding the presence of sex offenders raises concerns among parents and community members.

In Ohio, if a sex offender violates the 1,000-foot law, it is considered a civil infraction. The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office explains that they can only intervene if a landlord or local municipality obtains a court order to remove the offender, and they fail to comply with that order. In Kentucky, breaking the 1,000-foot law is a criminal offense, but the Kenton County Sheriff’s Office only takes action when a citizen or school reports a violation.

Local 12 is reaching out to state lawmakers to understand why there have been no laws passed to make breaking the 1,000-foot law a criminal offense. The issue highlights the need for stronger legislation and improved communication mechanisms to ensure the safety of students in educational institutions proximate to sex offenders.

In summary, sex offenders living near schools in the Tri-State area are protected by existing laws that restrict law enforcement’s ability to address this problem effectively. The shortcomings in legislation have left school officials and community members concerned about the safety of students. Efforts are being made to raise awareness and advocate for stronger measures to prevent sex offenders from residing near schools.