mlive.com (Grand Rapids) : Man found dead in cold was turned away from shelters in past because he was sex offender.
GRAND RAPIDS -- A man found dead on the streets Monday had tried in recent weeks to gain admittance to at least one of two Heartside missions, but was denied a bed because he is a registered sex offender.
Officials say its possible Thomas Pauli might be alive today except for a state law prohibiting him from establishing a residence even for one night within 1,000 feet of a school, in this case, Catholic Central High, also located in the Heartside district.
"It's heartbreaking. I have a hard time even talking about it," said Marge Palmerlee, executive director at Degage Ministries.
There are no exceptions to the so-called Megan's Law, which sets boundaries and restrictions for those on the list.
Added Shaffer, "These men and women are clearly 'The Scarlet Letter' folks of our day. And where do they go? I have no answer."
Mr. Pauli was convicted of second-degree criminal sexual conduct in 1991, over 17 years ago.
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