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Sex Offender Proximity Notification - Corinne O'Flynn

If you live near me in Colorado, please let me know if you want detailed information about this offender listing. If you live in CO, some of the information below will be pertinent to you. If you live in other states in the US, you might want to check your local county and state governments to see what the protocol is for notification in your area, find the websites you need, and bookmark them. I was pleasantly surprised.

Could you think of another legitimate email subject line that is more sinister?

I am glad. I am glad we have the technology that we do. I am happy there is a sex offender registry because I know that these cretins have been around as long as man has existed, and it is up to us to do what we can to protect ourselves and our children.

I am glad my county has an excellent reporting system, that we are using technology to be as proactive as possible in keeping people up to date. I am glad we have a (really nice) live person to talk to when you have questions about these creepy emails that come with links to the criminal’s web post, listing his felony crimes, committed against a child this past March.

I do not pretend that I was somehow safer before he and his family moved in across the street. I do not pretend that being in a nice area of town somehow shields us for the world. We live in a scary world. It just sucks when the scary world comes too close for comfort and you have to scare the living daylights out of your innocent young children in an effort to keep them safe.

I am really bummed out. I just had to have an awful conversation about “bad strangers” with my kids during dinner. We have had this conversation before, in fact it is an ongoing dialog in safety and listening to mom and dad. But it has always been a little ambiguous, fuzzy details, and evil bad guys with dastardly smirks and greasy hair.

This past week everything has changed.

The email from the sheriff’s office with that awful subject line arrived to tell us that a registered sex offender has moved in across the street, right across the street… paces away. In my neighborhood. On my block. Here. The flurry of emails from all of my neighbors was amazing.

I am angry. I am angry that my kids, at ages 8, 6, 5, 3, had to take that turn in their minds where “bad strangers” and “stranger danger” has taken shape into reality across the street. I am worried they will be up at night wondering. Looking out their window at the bad guy’s house. If the 13 year old predator is coming to get them. Yes, he is 13.

I am worried. I am worried that my kids’ minds would run amok with visions of this bad stranger. They have no idea about what a “sex offender” is, and we didn’t go there with this one. We tried to stay as general as possible, talking about the things that bad strangers could do (take kids and steal them), and left it at that.

I am worried that we have done it wrong. That we have scared and scarred our children. I have shown them all the sex offender’s picture from the county registry. He looks like a cool kid, someone my 8 year old would look up to. He is only 13 years old. 13.

I know it is a good lesson, I understand that they need to know. But I am angry that they chose our street and have caused us to alter forever the carefree attitude my kids had an hour ago. I know that people have a right to live wherever they wish, I just wish they didn’t pick here. Across the street. Outside my kids’ windows.

I am afraid. Not that this kid is going to come over and target my kids… well, maybe I am afraid of exactly that. It is just scary when someone whose boundaries, morals, and lines-to-stay-within are not anywhere near what “we” would consider normal or acceptable.

I spoke at length with the sheriff’s officer that manages the sex offender registry, and the information the woman there gave me made me shudder. In particular, she was able to assure me that this kid is Bad News, and that a 13 year old on the online registry is an unheard of thing that He Earned Due To The Nature of The Crime. She could not give me any real details about his case, due to the law protecting the victim, but what she did share was upsetting.

In general, she shared these tidbits that might be something to think about for your own safety, information, and peace of mind.

  • She said that in this particular case she is actually not allowed to disclose many details, which is the law in place to protect a minor victim. She said you are always welcome to visit the police dept where the arrest took place and request a paper copy, but in many cases so much information is redacted to protect the victim.
  • She did say that it is rare for a minor to be made “web eligible” (his listing is all online), and this kid is web eligible for a very good reason. She said that in most cases of a minor assaulting a child, it is a younger family member who is involved, and that this was NOT the case here.
  • I asked her if this was a case of “a mature 13 year old boy misbehaving with his 13 year old girlfriend (and not actually a predatory situation)” and she said that it was certainly NOT a situation like that.
  • She said that this 13 year old offender should be treated with caution, and our children should be told he and his house are off limits.
  • She said that when you see someone on the registry site whose file is not “web eligible”, it could be for any number of reasons and is not an indicator of the seriousness of their crime.
  • She said that when you see someone in the registry who was convicted of “attempted” sex crimes, that is not to say they did not actually complete the act, it simply means that they were only *convicted* of the crime listed. Think about the judicial system in the USA and how people can accept a plea to a lesser charge, and be mindful of that.
  • Also, one of the (many) reasons why they do not release the details of sex abuse crimes online is because most of the time the crime is one of opportunity, in that when the victim is a little boy, that is not to say that all girls are safe. So, the best practice is to just keep every child away from a predator.
  • She said that when you see a new listing out there with no information in it at all, it is her way of notifying us that there is something happening in our area, but that the law limits what she can share with the public.
  • She suggested that from time to time you check the registry and the CBI website to stay abreast of when these people move OUT of your neighborhood. The CBI site is: www.cbi.state.co.us
  • The Douglas County Colorado Unified listing site is here. You can sign up to receive notifications for your area, and choose a radius of proximity when you do so. I imagine there are similar listings for other counties in Colorado… please look into yours.
About the Author Corinne

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  1. I would be angry as well. I get so mad that kids are not as innocent (and where did a 13 yr old learn and know about this stuff – I’m thinking, I would watch out for the parents/family as well) and that OUR kids have to be so much more careful and can’t be as carefree. I am so sorry!

  2. I think as parents things have gotten a lot scarier as kids we just did what our parents told us too. don’t talk to strangers… don’t eat the unwrapped candy.. and so on.. as parents we understand what can really happen.. and that scares me..

    Thank you for sharing your story.


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