Posted: Jun 26, 2013 9:41 PM by Lupita Murillo
Updated: Jun 27, 2013 9:16 AM
TUCSON - Sex offenders live in tight knit communities across Tucson.
Is it dangerous for offenders to be living so close together?
Should landlords allow it?
Should the public be concerned?
News 4 Tucson's Lupita Murillo asked a convicted sex offender. "They're (residents) scared, they have a right to be scared. I've committed some of the most horrid crimes possible in our society," he says.
He's a level 3 sex offender and did not want to be identified.
He was convicted of sexual conduct with a minor and molestation of a child and spent 10 years in prison. He's been out since 2008 and is currently on intensive probation.
"I'm afraid of the community," he says.
While he understands the anger people have toward sex offenders, he also wants to assure them he's taken responsibility for his actions. He regrets the pain he's caused his victims.
"It kills me, it hurts, but I also know that I can change," he says.
He added sex offenders must be in treatment, attend counseling sessions, and take responsibility for their actions.
Jasmine Lopez lives in the 85705 zip code. There are more than 100 registered sex offenders the most in Pima County.
"Wow, that's horrible," she says.
She lives around the corner from where a cluster of sex offenders live.
"I'm very angry they do have to live somewhere, and I don't know if I have the answers but 104 in the 85705 and the university and how many schools do we have in this district, 36. I mean this is ridiculous," she says.
Benson Highway also attracts clusters of sex offenders.
Nearly 40 live in the 85714 zip code.
There are about a dozen locations that rent to the convicted felons.
One landlord asked not to be identified.
"We don't have a lot of trouble with them they are just trying to get to the next part of their life, and they have to have somewhere to live," she says.
She's owned the property for three decades. She also says she is upfront when people are looking for an apartment.
"If they want to check online, there's some sex offenders that live here. If there's a problem with that don't rent here," she added.
She admits they do have some problems, but not many.
"Their parole officer is just one phone call away. They know it, and I know it."
Another reason so many sex offenders live in this area is the location to the Pima Co. Sheriff's Department where sex offenders have to register, and the Probation Department where they have to meet with parole officers all within walking distance. The bus line is just one street over.
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