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Reality Check: Sex offenders near public pools

By: Michelle Heron Email
By: Michelle Heron Email

PERRY COUTNY, Ky. (WYMT) Diving into local pools is common for kids during the summer months. But how safe are they?

When it comes but public pools, we found out there are no limits to how far registered sex offenders need to stay.

WYMT checked into Eastern Kentucky’s city pools to see how many convicted sex offenders live within a five mile radius of public pools.

The Corbin City Pool has the highest number with 13 registered sex offenders in that area. There are 12 around the Perry County Pool and 10 near the Whitesburg Public Pool. We got these numbers from the Kentucky Sex Offender Registry.

Parents we spoke to were shocked to learn about the information.

Crystal Miller brings her two children to the Perry County Pool nearly every day during the summer.
“Sex offenders don’t need to be allowed anywhere around children. They’re not allowed in public schools,” Miller said.

She was shocked to learn that registered sex offenders are allowed to be around children at a public pool.

“At a public pool, they’re wearing bathing suits… Sex offenders are known, already have been charged with that crime, why give them access to do it again?” Miller added.

Local law enforcement officials say it’s perfectly legal for registered sex offenders to be at public pools around children.

Nathan Pray is a lifeguard at Perry County Pool and sees kids of all ages come to the pool throughout the summer. Some are even left unattended.

“I’d say a lot of parents probably don’t even know about that. If they did, they probably wouldn’t drop them off,” Pray said.

Miller says that’s why it’s the parents’ responsibility to make sure their kids are safe.

“At the end of the day, they’re open and honest with everybody. They don’t have anything to hide because they don’t know who to hide it from,”

Another way to make sure we are protecting the most innocent.

Registered sex offenders, with some exceptions, are not allowed to live within 1,000 feet of schools, publicly owned playgrounds or licensed daycare facilities. But they are allowed to go to any public pool or park.

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