FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - On Friday, NewsChannel 15 told you about a child molester who was arrested and accused of helping out with a girls basketball team in Adams County. So, what limitations do sex offenders have?
"The offender is not prohibited from going to the school to visit or to attend an event or even going to the park," Allen County Sheriff's Department Detective Jeff Shimkus said.
What about the one-thousand foot rule? Detective Jeff Shimkus with the Allen County Sheriff's Department said according to law, sex offenders aren't allowed to live within a thousand feet of a school, youth center or park. On the flip-side they are still allowed to visit them.
"I think the public tends to believe that the thousand foot rule is like a magical force field that these guys bounce off of and that's not the case at all. They're not prohibited from going to those locations they just can't live near them."
Although the thousand foot rule sounds good there are still loopholes. Detective Shimkus said the law needs to be revisited.
"It sounds good and feels good but when you look at the big picture the overall picture it's it's very difficult for these offenders to find places to live. Because of that and I've always said before I'd much rather have an offender living near school as long as I know he's there, the school knows he's there and the neighborhood knows he's there that way everybody is watching him."
Shimkus said often times sex offenders will follow the thousand foot rule then disappear and move near a school and not register.
He encourages parents to talk with their kids and listen to what they have to say.
"if they bring something to your attention that sounds weird or uncomfortable believe them and look into that further."
The Allen County Sheriff's Department has several resources for you on its website. Click here to search for sex offenders in your area. You can also sign up for text alerts.
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