Neighbors want sex offenders to leave Lexington homeless shelter

LEXINGTON - (WKYT) Bobby McGhee has a past that constrains his future. "I was accused of raping a lady out Eastland Parkway," McGhee said.
In the summer of 2010, after two hung juries, a plea deal got him out of jail in just more than three years.
"While I was in jail I lost everything that I had." But McGhee gained two new identities when he was released-- homeless and registered sex offender. He took up residence at 824 Winchester Road, the Community Inn.
"People are afraid when they hear sex offender, McGhee said. It's like everybody shakes and everybody gets scared."

One neighbor of the Community Inn, who didn't want to be identified, said his neighborhood is tired of being scared to go outside their homes. He says even inside isn't safe.
"They (the homeless) are coming in on women in the neighborhood. One of them intruded into my home on my wife while I was not home. He was arrested. Come to find out he was a registered sex offender."

Ginny Ramsey runs the Community Inn. She says it's better to have the homeless sex offenders in one place rather than roaming the streets.
"It saves the courts, it saves the jail, it saves the community so much to know where these men and women are so that the system can keep up with them," Ramsey said.

Major Jay Pittman with the Fayette County Sheriff's Office is in charge of keeping up with them. He says right now there are 332 registered sex offenders in Lexington. Twelve of them are currently staying at the Community Inn.
"It's a pretty consistent number," Pittman said. "Anywhere from the nine to twelve range is where it's been lately."
Major Pittman says they do in-person checks to make sure the offenders are where they say they are. If they aren't an arrest warrant is issued. He says they also inform the neighborhood when a new sex offender checks in at the Inn.

"We believe in redemption and we try to live from that place to give everyone another chance," Ramsey said. The community Inn has been under scrutiny by the city. The shelter was slated to be a church under a conditional use permit granted by the city. However, the conditional use permit was revoked by the city after it became apparent that the church was a shelter for the homeless.

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