In past issues, the Juniper Park Civic has asked parents to be aware of men bothering their kids in local parks. It's a reality these days that when men pay far too much attention to your kids they could be sex offenders. As parents we need to be aware that these people exist. They live in our neighborhoods, on our blocks and attend our parks.
I have been aware of Megan's Law for some years now. The law is named for 7-year-old New Jersey native Megan Kanka, who was lured into a home with a promise of a puppy, raped and killed by a neighbor who was a sex offender. Megan's Law states that all sex offenders are registered into a police database, which is updated every couple of months. The database, for some reason, is sent to local public schools that copy them and send them to parents of enrolled children.
I say, for some reason, because, what exactly am I supposed to do with it? I know this person's name and address, but it is illegal if I contact him or bother him. I know some people will think it's wrong, but I show these pictures to my 6-year-old son and tell him to run if he sees them,They are bad people, I say. What else can I do? Can I trust that the school has locked security doors that these men can't enter and go into a child's bathroom? Maybe. But I'm not taking any chances.
Two years ago we had an alleged sex offender who was pestering mothers in Juniper Valley Park telling them he was a photographer (he's not) and asking them to come to his house to take pictures of their kids. I wrote about him and bothered him until he went elsewhere. And did I get support from local people? No, they swore at me and told me I should, leave him alone, he's harmless.
I still feel I made the right decision.
Now I sit here with another picture of a sex offender in Middle Village in front of me. I cannot tell you his name or address, but I can tell you he is 5'8balding, dark haired white male, who is 36-years-old and weighs 200 lbs. He who showed indecent material to both a five and an eight-year old girl and made them perform sex acts. After one year in jail he is free, free to come to Juniper Valley Park and bother our kids.
If you ever notice a man sitting alone in a playground area that isn't with a child, he is not allowed to be there. Call 911 if you feel weird about the situation. And if you ever meet a woman who tells you to be careful when someone is talking to your kids, it is probably me. Better safe than sorry.
For more info and to see the pictures of some of the registered sex offenders, please see: www.parentsformeganslaw.com.
Update: Just this week it has been brought to my attention that the alleged offender mentioned above is again pestering people and their kids in Juniper Valley Park. Though I cannot legally state his name, I will tell you what he looks like, he is a white male, almost 6 feet tall, about 300 lbs., with large dark glasses and dark receding hair. Tell him to leave you alone! If you see him or any man alone in the playground area, it is your right to call 911. The playgrounds are for our kids.