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East Bay Family Mistakenly Appears On Sex Offender List

12-28-2004 California

Dec. 28 (ABC7) — There's a snag in the state's sex offender registry which went online this year. It turns out, not all the addresses are up-to-date. So for a Livermore family, Megan's Law has meant some embarrassment and some sleepless nights. ABC7's Debora Villalon explains why.

Look up Pam Brown's address on the sex offender list and there's a map to her house, plus data on a convicted child molester, Don Marsh. He lived there before the Browns bought the place 11 years ago. Occasionally they'll get mail for him, but didn't know his criminal past and don't like being linked to him now.

Pam Brown, victim of mistaken identity: "I'm disturbed that this isn't being taken care of immediately - that they know he doesn't live here, but somebody can't just go into the computer system and remove our address."

Livermore police are sympathetic, but somewhat powerless to fix this mistake. They can't change information in a state-run Web site. And the State Department of Justice says it can't replace an old address until it gets a new one from the sex offender."

Livermore's chief admits offenders often move without re-registering. They're the ones with red check marks on the Web site. Their new neighborhoods are unsuspecting. Their old ones, stigmatized.

Chief Steve Krull, Livermore P.D.: "I don't know if it's a huge flaw, but it certainly seems to be a hiccup that could be corrected."

It can't be fixed fast enough for the Browns, a builder and schoolteacher, now uneasy about displaying their address. They've poured time and money into remodeling their home, only to worry it could be vandalized by someone who thinks wrongly, a sex offender lives there.

Kyle Brown, victim of mistaken identity: "I don't know that to expect. Who knows what somebody might be thinking? It does worry me. It bothers me."

Marsh moved to Manteca years ago, so a quick visit from police there is all it would take to get the Browns off the hook and out of the registry.

Our inquiries prompted the Livermore police chief to personally call Sacramento, and late today, a spokesman told us the Browns' address will be removed in the next few days. ..more.. by ABC7News

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