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CO- Flier falsely calls resident sex offender

10-18-2008 Colorado:

Puebloan, 67, goes door-to-door to clear his name, reputation with neighbors.

Reputation is a hard thing to restore.

One Puebloan is trying, however, after his neighborhood was plastered with fliers last week falsely stating he was a child sex offender.

"I was very fortunate that most of my neighbors that I talked to thought it was a bunch of crap," the 67-year-old man who preferred not to be identified said Friday. "My wife and I went door-to-door to tell people that I am not a sexual offender. I wanted to make sure that people who have children in the neighborhood knew it was a bunch of crap."

As many as 25 fliers were distributed in the victim's neighborhood between midnight Oct. 6 and 4:30 a.m. Oct. 7, according to police.

The fliers were distributed under the guise of a neighborhood watch group. It stated that the victim was charged with sexual assault on a child and stressed children's safety. "Remember there is no cure for these people," the flier said. "Help each other by watching your neighbor's children . . . Protect the Children!"

The flier also referenced a national sex offender database, but listed the wrong Web site for

The victim's name isn't listed on the aforementioned Web site, or on any official sex offender lists, according to police. A father of two grown children, three grown stepchildren and 10 grandchildren, police found the man has no criminal history.

"If you want accurate information, you go to your local law enforcement. Some of these Web sites are not accurate or up to date," said Detective Pat Heine, a member of the police department's Neighborhood Watch program and crime prevention unit.

"If people choose to put a generic flier out about a so-called sex offender, they need to know there are libel laws. This is so destructive. It's destructive to the family, destructive to the individual, it's destructive to the neighborhood."

The victim said he's offering a reward for information about the incident. Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers at 542-7867.

"I'm a good neighbor and I intend to stay that way," the man said. "I wish I knew what the reason behind this was."

An accurate and free list of neighborhood sex offenders may be obtained at the police record division or sheriff's office, Heine said.

They also can be accessed on the Web sites of the Pueblo Police Department, Pueblo County Sheriff's Department and Colorado Bureau of Investigation. ..News Source.. by NICK BONHAM, THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN

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