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Second House For Sex Offenders Shut Down

By: Andy Cunningham Email
By: Andy Cunningham Email

For the second time since January, the Catholic Action Center in Lexington has been forced to shut down a house they were providing for registered sex offenders.

The home was in the Woodhill Neighborhood.

Four men, three of them sex offenders, were living there with their program monitor.

"They were harassed, rocks thrown at them, windows broken in," said Ginny Ramsey.

Ramsey is the Co-Director of the Catholic Action Center. She says they were forced to move the men on Sunday.

"They were fearing for their lives. People were threatening them over and over," Ramsey said.

This was no surprise to Ramsey. In January, the Catholic Action Center purchased a home on Detroit Avenue to house registered sex offenders, but before they could move in, the residents there petitioned.

"These are people who have no where else to go, our job as a service organization is to help these people, because no one else will," Ramsey said, when asked why the CAC continues to serve these individuals while receiving so much resistance from the community.

"We are trying to provide these people an atmosphere where they can become productive members of society, but also a place where they can be under constant monitoring and be held accountable for their actions," she went on to say.

Once released from jail, the law requires sex offenders to provide an address at all times. But because of strict limitations as to where they can live, many cannot establish one, so they are re-arrested, costing tax payers a large amount of money.

"It costs Fayette County about a $1,000,000 a year to house sex offenders in jail, not because they have re-offended, but because they cannot find affordable or practical housing," said Ramsey.

It's not just the Catholic Action Center that is trying to solve this problem. Other community leaders are working on it.

"We don't have an island here where we can just dump them," said Lexington attorney Rebecca DiLoreto.

DiLoreto says the current law clearly states where sex offenders can't live but it doesn't clearly state where they can live.

"We can't ignore the fact these individuals are living among us, so rather than not knowing where they live, we need to work with them and make sure they are doing things they aren't supposed to," said DiLoreto.

She's urging lawmakers to look at the current law and see if revisions need to be made or include programs to help offenders find a place to live.

One of the sex offenders moved from the Woodhill Drive home is staying in a local hotel.

Another was moved to West Wirginia.

The third was able to find another place to live within the legal requirements.


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