Local News

Jun 3, 2013 6:45 PM by Mike Manzoni -- mmanzoni@kristv.com

6 Investigates: Sex Offenders Living Near Schools

CORPUS CHRISTI -- State records show there are dozens of registered sex offenders living only blocks from a couple elementary schools, including some who are labeled "high-risk" and have been convicted of abusing children.

The Texas Public Sex Offender Registry lists 135 sex offenders who live within a mile of T.G. Allen Elementary School on 18th Street. The registry also lists 97 sex offenders who live within a mile of George Evans Elementary School on Comanche Street.

Several of the sex offenders listed have been convicted of crimes ranging from indecency with a child by sexual contact to aggravated sexual assault of a child.

"My daughter the other day was walking down the street and somebody was trying to pick her up," said Kimberly Rodriguez whose children attend Evans Elementary. "One day you can see your daughter leave in the morning and the next thing you know she's gone."

But there is nothing anyone can do about the sex offenders because it's not illegal for them to live near schools. Under state law, a parole panel decides on a case-by-case basis whether to restrict sex offenders from living near schools, but in many cases they don't.

"That's a common misconception that if you're a sex offender - and we get calls all the time - that a sex offender is having a birthday party for little kids - and we get those complaints - and then we look and they're not on parole, they're not on probation," said Lt. Kelly Isaacks of the Corpus Christi Police Department.

Cities and towns are permitted to have a local ordinance banning sex offenders from living a specified distance from schools, but Corpus Christi does not have one. School officials and authorities said that even if the city did have an ordinance, it would be difficult to enforce because there are schools covering virtually every part of town.

"Would I have a problem with such an ordinance?" said Corpus Christi Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Scott Elliff. "I think that would be great."

If you would like to see if there are any sex offenders living in your neighborhood, you can visit the Department of Public Safety's sex offender registry.

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