State Chastised by Judge for Allowing Sex Offender to 'Freely Roam'

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. - A southeastern Kentucky judge has blasted the state for repeatedly placing children in a foster home where a known registered sex offender "freely roamed."

Whitley District Judge Daniel Ballou said in the order April tenth that the sex offender lived on the property of and adjacent to the Whitley County foster home. It also says the man was in the foster home on a daily basis, freely roamed the premises and was not prohibited from having daily contact with foster children.

Child protection officials were criticized as reckless and negligent for placing children in harm's way.

Ballou ordered a teenage girl in foster care at the home returned to her mother. Other foster children were in the home, according to the order. The order did not speak to the status of those children, but the judge ordered the cabinet not to place any children in the foster home. The Cabinet for Health and Family Services said the matter is being reviewed.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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