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Sex Offenders Say They Are Harassed, Others Not Sympathetic

5-25-2011 Arkansas:

A registered sex offender says he's being harassed at his home, because people know his past.

"They chipped off the paint, there's two dents right there," said Heather, showing KARK the marks in her home.

Preferring to be referred to only as Heather, Saturday she says someone shot up her home off Crystal Hill Road with a BB gun

"This is a last Hail Mary effort, I hope it doesn't keep happening. It scares me and it scares my neighbors and friends," she said.

Heather says this, and other harassment, has happened before: all because her roommate is a registered sex offender.

"I think they are targeting sex offenders, every time the notification fly-er goes out, they target whichever trailer they think is where the person lives," she said.

In this area, there are more than a half a dozen sex-offenders. Each time one moves in, local law enforcement has to let the neighborhood know.

"It doesn't happen all the time, but it does happen," said Lt. Minden.

Lt. Carl Minden with the Pulaski County Sheriff's office says retaliation isn't what the registry is intended for and in fact, is potentially criminal.

"Obviously they did commit a crime, as a sex offender, but they still have rights as a citizen and you have to respect their rights or you'll be breaking the law and you won't be any better than them," he said.

That's why they're investigating what happened at Heather's home.

Still, she's worried someone is taking the law into their own hands.

"That's what worries me is that someone is going to come out here with more than a BB gun and mischief on their mind," she said.

But nearby neighbor Marley Benefield sees things differently. With three young daughters, she wouldn't retaliate, but she's not exactly sympathetic.

"They weren't being very sympathetic when they did what they did," she said.

Heather didn't want us to give out exact information about her, her home or roommate, fearing more retaliation.

The notification fly-ers actually have a warning on them against taking revenge.

If you are having a problem with a registered sex offender in your area, law enforcement says call them instead. ..Source.. by Lauren Trager, KARK 4 News

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