By Shirin Rajaee


OLIVEHURST (CBS13) – An Olivehurst Grandmother is furious after learning that a sex offender is living just feet away from her neighborhood elementary school. 

“I’m concerned about people not being aware of the sex offenders in the area,” said Robyn Gorham. 

Gorham says she was stunned to find out how many sex offenders lived just down the street from Cedar Lane Elementary, where her grandson is set to attend. 

“There are parents here and I don’t think they’re aware of what’s right in our neighborhood,” said Gorham. 

A quick search on the Megan’s Law website shows there are 11 sex offenders living within 3/4 of a mile from the school. Gorham is particularly concerned about one offender convicted of lewd acts with a child 14 or 15 years old, whose home is registered just feet away from the school’s fence. 

READ: 3 Now Arrested In Connection To Deadly Beating Of Man Mistaken As Sex Offender

“The fence is in between the driveway and where the kids are playing, so anybody can say ‘hi’ and put their hand through the fence,” she said. 

Gorham adds, “I always thought it was a law that they couldn’t register their address so close to the school?“

So is there a blanket law that keeps all sex offenders at a certain distance away from a school? 

“There is no general, applicable law — Jessica‘s Law or Megan’s Law — in California that applies to every sex offender in California the same way,” said Sacramento criminal attorney Mark Reichel. 

Reichel says because there are varying degrees of sex offenders, each offender’s restrictions are decided on a case-by-case basis, and solely by their parole or probation officer. 

“A sex offender can’t live by a school if the parole officer determines they cannot. Those officers can impose all kinds of restrictions, whether they can have contact with children, stay away from children, and how far away,” said Reichel. 

ALSO: Tuolumne County Sex Offender Arrested For Living With Toddler

But in this case in question, the offender was convicted in 2010 and is no longer under parole. Reichel says the offender is not breaking any laws. 

“If they’re  no longer on probation or parole, they’re just a 290 registrant, there’s really no way a city can prevent them from residing in an area as long as they’re abiding by the law,” he said. 

Reichel says while schools have to protect children;, they have no control of where sex offenders live. He suggests parents take advantage of online resources and use the Megan’s Law website to be educated on who lives around them. 

 

Shirin Rajaee

Comments (6)
  1. Sandy Rozek says:

    Knowing the facts would go a long way toward relieving fear and anxiety. Even though some places opt for blanket restrictions close to schools, etc., those types of restrictions are not helpful and actually create negative conditions making society less safe. The vast majority of child sexual abuse is committed by those in the lives of the children and well known by them, often their own family members. These types of conditions need to be used very individualistically and as part of probation and parole condition. They should never be blanket-applied across the board just because a person is on the registry. The number of people, whether registered or not, who target random children just because they live close to their schools, etc., is minuscule.

  2. Pat says:

    Dear Ms. Gorham – a 20 second google search would have educated you that, in the State of California, it is UNCONSTITUTIONAL to blanket restrict the residence of anyone not on parole or probation. That would have saved you from being “stunned”.

    But then again, what would have been the topic of Ms. Rajaee’s salacious article today? I point out that the story URL reads “sex-offenders-schools-laws-broken/”. In spite of the article clearly stating that no laws are broken. Why is that?

    More to the point, and appreciating Ms. Gorham’s concern…. when was the last time a 290 registrant abused a child on school grounds? When was the last time a 290 registrant abused a child on school grounds where close residential proximity was a factor? When was the last time a person without any criminal background (i.e. teacher / coach / staff / student) abused a child on school grounds?

    Fortunately this is a “free” country. Just like this man is free to live anywhere, so is Ms. Gorham. If this situation does not meet with her approval she is free to pick up and move to a location that does. Isn’t America great?

  3. Will Bedgood says:

    If I were this grandparent I would be more worried about the citizen in my neighborhood with 1, 2 3 DUI convictions that are driving about in my community or perhaps those who are smoking pot in there back yards living next to the school. Grandma seems to me you have a lot to think about and get furious over.

  4. Laura Gipson says:

    Shirin Rajaee You may or may not be aware but if your article in anyway causes harm or harassment to this registrant or his family you and this Grandmother have committed a crime. Or perhaps none of you read the Megans Law Website which clearly states: Legal and Illegal Uses. The information on this website is made available solely to protect the public. Anyone who uses this information to commit a crime or to harass an offender or his or her family is subject to criminal prosecution and civil liability. Perhaps your talents would be better used if you educated yourself on who is actually listed on our registry. You may be surprised like me to discover that 20% of the over 100K names listed on our California registry were listed when they were minors themselves mostly for non-violent offenses. Yes indeed Shirin perhaps investigate and do your research first. Then you and others like you can be better informed journalists to help keep the public safe.

  5. E G says:

    Oh let’s be honest. Kids aren’t molested by the guy living down the street. They are molested by a family member, usually one who lives with them.

  6. La Dama Pintada says:

    Grandma should make sure her husband isn’t molesting her beloved grand-kids. I say this because my cousin was being sexually molested by her grandfather (not on any kind of registry and not my side of the family). All these hyped up stories about sex offender warnings for nothing.

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