But after elementary parents in Louisville rousted a neighborhood perpetrator, and he was found by police violating his probation, it's back to jail for 90 days.
KSN&C heard from upset parents at Bloom Elementary School this week. They were upset because the school did not alert them to the perpetrator's presence, across the street from where their children play.
This from C-J:
According to court records, Southard and two roommates were charged with sodomizing a 5-year-old boy in 1998. He served 10 years behind bars before being released in July 2008. That's when he moved in with his father near Greathouse/Shyrock Traditional Elementary School where he was arrested one month later for allegedly stalking a boy and for living within 1,000 feet of a school. He pleaded guilty of grabbing his crotch and beckoning to the boy, and was given a 365-day jail sentence that was suspended for two years. Southard's no-alcohol, no-pornography probation went awry when police found beer and a "Boys Will Be Boys" video tape in his apartment. The County Attorney sought and obtained a revocation of his probation.
He is a convicted sex offender living across the playground from Bloom Elementary School — and it is perfectly legal for him to do so.
David J. Southard is one of roughly 1,200 sex offenders convicted before Kentucky changed its law in 2006 to bar all offenders, rather than only those on probation and parole, from living nears schools, parks and daycare centers.
Last October, the state high court held that the new law couldn’t be applied retroactively to people whose offenses occurred before the law was changed. And on March 8, without comment, the U.S. Supreme Court said it wouldn’t hear an appeal from Kentucky attorney general’s office.
But some of Southard’s neighbors who have children at Bloom have demanded that he move by April 1, threatening to sue him and publicize his crimes if he doesn’t, his family says.
The controversy has divided Bloom parents and posed a dilemma for principal Janice Bobo, who says Louisville Metro Police advised her while she could refer parents to the Kentucky State Police sex offender’s Web site, posting or distributing fliers with his picture might be considered harassment...
...Jane Walsh, a member of Bloom’s site-based decision-making council, said she realizes there are “shades of gray” in the sex-offender law — that not all offenders’ victims are children and that such statutes have made it nearly impossible for some offenders to find a place to live.
But she said of Southard: “I don’t think this is much gray here. I think it is pretty straightforward. As a parent, you worry about him living next to a school.”
Some other parents, including Mary Beth Rother and Teresa Dowell Inman, said they think they should have received more explicit notice from the school.
Principal Bobo said she learned last fall that Southard was living across from the school’s playground and called Louisville police, who told her he was living there legally.
Bobo said a couple of parents who are attorneys contacted Southard and asked if he would move. She said she distributed a copy of Southard’s picture to teachers and staff, and has informally told parents who inquired to look at the sex-offender Web site...
This from C-J:
David J. Southard, a registered sex offender who lives legally across from Bloom Elementary School, was ordered Thursday to serve 90 days in jail for violating the terms of his probation on a stalking conviction.
The county attorney’s office sought to revoke his probation after he was found to have beer and an adult pornographic video in his apartment. District Judge Mason Trenaman instead ordered to him serve 90 days in jail, after which he will be placed back on probation. Southard’s family said he had had agreed to move voluntarily by April 1, after some Bloom parents objected to him living across from the school. It was unclear whether those plans will change because of Thursday’s order.
Kentucky has 7,860 registered offenders, with roughly 60 percent required to register for life because they were convicted of rape, sodomy or multiple or violent offenses. Attorney General Jack Conway told C-J that he was disappointed that the U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider the Kentucky high court’s 5-2 decision striking down the state’s attempt to retroactively apply the residency restrictions to sex offenders. The court said that doing so violates the constitutional ban on increasing punishment for crimes after the fact. The law bars sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of schools, licensed day-care centers and public parks with pools or playgrounds.
OK, so it was a temporary victory for the parents.But Bloom parents were upset about more than the neighborhood offender. They were upset with the way the district has - or has not - handled the situation.
Apparently stories on the incident first appeared at http://bloomelementary.wordpress.com/ until someone complained to WordPress. That site has now been taken down, reportedly because the blogger did not own the words "Bloom Elementary." But now, at Bloom Elementary Overload the blogging persists. One imagines that if this site is taken down, the next will be titled Bloom Elementary Sux" etc., etc. Overload posted the following,
Heads up, Bloom parents!
Ya think a sex offender living at 1610 Lucia Avenue is watching our babies on the playground? He used to live with his father near Greathouse Elementary but was caught by police following a child.
Caught and videotaped. (CLICK HERE TO SEE HIS PICTURE ON THE KENTUCKY STATE POLICE SEX OFFENDERS WEBSITE BECAUSE A READER HAS COMPLAINED TO WORDPRESS AND WANTED HIS PICTURE REMOVED.)
After you click the above link, click on Search the Kentucky State Police Sex Offender Registry. Then, enter the zip code 40204 to find the resident of 1610 Lucia Avenue.
Do staff members at Bloom know about this guy? Of course they do! An LMPD detective confirmed this with me today. Your principal knows but has remained largely silent.
Did anyone bother to let parents know that a convicted pedophile is living within a stone’s throw of our school? Of course not!