WICHITA, Kansas – A sex offender living in a Wichita neighborhood recently put up a lending library in his front yard. Now, nearby parents are worried it could be a lure for their children.
“That’s almost a little bait,” said one neighbor. “It’s unnerving because our neighborhood is so active with kids in the park on a daily basis.”
A Wichita mother reached out to KSN about her concerns.
She said she is careful about keeping track of registered offenders, and wants to keep her children safe. So, when a new little free library posted in front of a home near hers, and that home reportedly belonged to a registered sex offender, she reached out to us.
KSN asked the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office if it is against the law for a registered sex offender to have one of these libraries on their property.
“Anytime you have a situation where you have a registered offender where they are, you know, making contact with children like that [like a Little Free Library], it can be a concern, but the reality of the matter is, there’s no law being broken there,” said Lt. Lin Dehning, Sedgwick Co. Sheriff’s Office.
It is important to clarify that this lender library is in the offender’s front yard, not inside his house.
After learning the registered sex offender has done nothing wrong or illegal because he is not on probation, KSN has chosen to not reveal the offender’s identity or home address.
Instead, KSN is looking into the specifics concerning Kansas law and sex offender registration, probation and parole and why the offender is not committing a crime.
We learned that because the offender is no longer on probation, he is therefore, no longer under any sort of restrictions set by a parole officer.
“Once they have come off of probation, once they’re not on parole anymore, then there are basically, generally speaking, there’s no restrictions on them,” said Lt. Dehning. “The whole concept of the offender registration is not to keep them away from people. It’s so that you, in the neighborhood, know who to keep your kids away from.”
Lt. Dehning said, after probation, parents should become increasingly aware.
“It’s up to those folks in the neighborhood to keep their kids safe by, by doing whatever they need to do to inform their kids or keep them away from his property,” said Lt. Dehning.
After a Wichita mother reached out to KSN Tuesday with concerns a registered sex offender in her neighborhood put up a lending library in his front yard, that offender tells KSN News he is taking it down.
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