Local News

Dec 11, 2013 3:55 PM by Andrew Ellison - aellison@kristv.com

Driscoll Says Sex Offenders Can't Live Too Close to Churches

DRISCOLL - The City of Driscoll is restricting how close registered sex offenders can live to its churches.

The city passed an amended ordinance last week that requires those sex offenders to live at least 1,000 feet away from any church.

The ordinance always said that registered sex offenders had to live at least 1,000 feet away from where children congregated, and that included places like schools and parks, but churches weren't on the list. Now, they are.

There's only three registered sex offenders in Driscoll, but this whole situation really started with one, when he moved in just a few hundred feet away from St. James Catholic Church in the city.

His name is Omar Saenz, and he moved in just a couple weeks before the city amended the ordinance.

Mayor John Aguilar says him moving in there is what prompted calls from residents. And that's what made the city realize they needed to add churches to the ordinance.

And while that will prevent offenders from moving in close to churches in the future, the city can't make Saenz move. He moved in before the ordinance passed.

The city also can't stop him from attending church, or any sex offender for that matter.

But the mayor says this is a good step, and added that they have other advantages in the city now.

"The good thing about it is we now have 24 hour policing, so they're constantly driving around the city. So, that's a little bit of a relief for us," Aguilar says.

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