Residents concerned about arrival of convicted sex offender
PORT ORANGE, Fla. —Port Orange approved an emergency ordinance on first reading Tuesday night that makes restrictions on where sex offenders can live more restrictive than state laws.
While the new restrictions will force sex offenders convicted after 2004 to stay away from schools and churches, it still does not go as far as keeping them from bus stops or walking paths to school.
For months, city officials have been considering tougher restrictions on where sex offenders can live, but when a convicted sex offender, Howard Porter, moved into a home across from an elementary school the issue was put on the front burner.
“We’re talking about moving,” said concerned parent Marilyn Davis.
Davis has three little girls under the age of 5, so she was outraged to learn Porter, 46, was her new neighbor.
“I don’t even want to let them in the backyard with my supervision. I just feel like he’s back there watching my children,” said Davis.
Porter served time out of state for soliciting sex with a child online and possessing child pornography, but because he was convicted before 2004, when Florida passed a law prohibiting sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of where children are, Porter has a right to live here.
“The state exemptions are pretty clear relating to when this individual was convicted and it really has tied the city of Port Orange’s hands,” said Greg Kisela, Port Orange city manager.
Police said Porter has done nothing wrong, but parents feel he might and they want him gone, claiming he has a window of opportunity as children walk and play nearby.
“It’s scary having to walk by here, not knowing if he’s looking out the window at us … or anything,” said Mike MeInicoff, a concerned parent.
via Residents concerned about arrival of convicted sex offender