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46 Investigates: Off The List

Even though society wants former offenders to follow the law, society itself wants to ignore the laws.
11-9-2007 Georgia:

A CBS 46 News Investigation has discovered hundreds of people charged with sex crimes have been removed from Georgia's Sex Offender Registry. They are accused of crimes like rape, incest and even child molestation, and they're living in our communities, undetected.

"It's several hundred. You can't say it's just a few. As many as 600 or more have come off," according to John Bankhead, a spokesperson for the Georgia Bureau of Investigations.

Like ___. In 2001 he pled guilty to molesting 3 young girls. But just 6 years later his criminal history has disappeared. Investigative Reporter Wendy Saltzman asked ___, "When I look on line, I cannot find you as a sexual offender." ____ responded, "Well, that's the law."

Another woman's 11 year old son was molested by ____. "He's a monster, a complete monster," she says.

___ pled guilty to 3 counts of child molestation for fondling three different Fulton county boys. The victim’s mother continued, "This man is never going to stop. In court he admitted to doing this for 18 years, and that was 5 years ago. He has done it his whole life. He is never going to stop."

____ petitioned to be removed from the registry. Now he has gone underground, listing a post office box in Duluth as his only contact address. "I'm furious, I can't even believe it," the victim’s mother responds.

According to Georgia Sex Offender Review Board member, Captain Tony Ranieri, "When they come of the registry that's it. It's over with. We don't know where they are at. You don't know what you've got living in your communities then." Ranieri warns, "It's an endangerment to the community."

More than 600 people have been taken off the registry over the last 16 months for a variety of reasons; mostly because they were sentenced as first offenders, even in cases where there were multiple sex crimes. Ranieri’s response: "It is beyond us why they are allowing this to happen."

Once a first offender’s sentence is complete, their records are completely cleared, and they are no longer tracked by anyone, including law enforcement. "What's to say that they are not going to do this again?" Ranieri questions.

"When someone goes after a 3 year old, that's babies. She was still in diapers," says another victim’s father. ____ pled guilty to molesting his 3 year old daughter, and of committing the same crime with a 7 year old boy. The victim's father responded, "He should be on that registry. He was supposed to be on that registry for life. If the state is not doing what it is supposed to do, that's a problem."

"Where should somebody like this be?" Saltzman asked House Majority Leader Jerry Keen. "In prison," Keen replied. "Should this person be on the streets?" Saltzman asked. Keen responded. "No."

Representative Keen passed a bill last year to prevent people charged with sex crimes from being removed from the sex offender registry. "It's extremely disturbing to know this has happened," he says.

But that law does not impact people who have already been sentenced and released. According to Keen, "Right now this person has free access to any child in the state, at a playground, at a swimming pool, at a church."

Like ____ who has 3 separate convictions including aggravated sodomy, kidnapping, and child molestation.

One of his victim’s mothers tells us, "She was just a vulnerable child." ___’s convictions reach all the way back to the aggravated sodomy of her daughter in 1975. "Definitely he was a predator. And I remember years later seeing his name in the paper again," she says.

When Saltzman asked ___’s mother if she could tell us where to find her son, she said "No. I don't know where you can find him. That's all finished." Once people are removed from the registry there is no way, even for law enforcement, to track them.
Only CBS 46 Investigates has created a map of their whereabouts, to show you exactly who may be living in your neighborhood. CLICK HERE to see who has been "Removed from the List."
If you wish to consult the Georgia Sex Offender Registry maintained by the Georgia Bureau of investigation, you can do so by going to the GBI website at ____ and clicking on the sex offender link there. WGCL-TV has no connection with this governmental website, and has not confirmed the accuracy of any of the information on it.

Before you consult the sex offender registry, you should read the FAQ associated with it. Also, you should heed the GBI’s statements on the limitations of the website information, including the warning that, “As the information is provided by other agencies and entities and is continuously changing, the GBI makes no promise or any express or implied guarantee concerning the accuracy of this information.” ..more..

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