Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sex Offenders Living in Clusters in SoCal

ktla.com: Sex Offenders Found Living in Clusters in SoCal.

Los Angeles -- A KTLA analysis of the Megan's Law database finds clusters of sex offenders living in some Southern California neighborhoods, while others have virtually none. When we conducted our research last month, we found one zip code in Wilmington -- 90744 -- with more registered sex offenders living in it than any other in the region. One block of Flint Avenue in Wilmington was home to 94 registered sex offenders.

Most have done time for victimizing kids. They live in run-down apartments. Thirty of them in this one building, The Harbor Inn, where the manager, who told us his name was Joseph, makes no apologies.

"They have to have somewhere to stay," he told us. "They are human beings."

Flint Avenue is an industrial area near the port and a refinery. It's not close to homes, schools, or parks.
Still, if you took a wrong turn and ended up here, there's no sign to warn you this is a neighborhood full of sexual predators.

What we found here is typical. Our research on the Megan's Law database found that the 90744 zip code Wilmington has the most, with 202, followed by a zip code in Lancaster with 157, 137 in a part of Long Beach.... and 118 in a section of Compton.

Sex criminals tend to live in poorer parts of town. You'll find none in zip codes in Encino, San Marino, Pacific Palisades, and Newport Beach... and only one in Beverly Hills.

The law says they're not supposed to live within 2,000 feet of a school. Some prosecutors think California needs to get tougher on sex offenders by keeping them in prison longer, monitoring them with GPS for life, or forcing them to live farther away from people. Assistant District Attorney Spitzer thinks confining sex offenders to the high desert might be a good plan. "I don't think it's a laughable idea," he told KTLA.

But back on Flint Ave. in Wilmington, there's a different attitude.

Joseph, the manager of an apartment building that houses 30 sex offenders, told KTLA, "People have to open their hearts and forgive."