DA wants "panty thief" crimes to be considered sex crimes - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

DA wants "panty thief" crimes to be considered sex crimes

By Janice Broach - bio | email | Facebook

OXFORD, MS (WMC-TV) - An Oxford district attorney wants the man accused of raiding the homes of North Mississippi female college students and stealing their undergarments to be added to the sex offender registry.

Joseph Paul Lillo, the so-called "panty thief," was arrested in October and charged with 11 counts of burglary.

Lillo broke into Oxford, Mississippi homes through unlocked doors.  He would then steal the underwear and a picture of the female who lived there.

"If he would do that, he might go a little bit farther," said mother Leslie Morris.

District Attorney Ben Creekmore is pushing legislators to pass a bill that would make crimes like Lillo's a sex crime.

"The danger here is someone who would break into somebody's house and steal panties could very easily escalate later into something different if you do not put restrictions on them," said Creekmore.

If the crime is made a sex crime, the suspect would have to register as a sex offender if convicted.  They would have to let the authorities know where he is living as a way to keep up with them.

"I think breaking and entering, so that's a crime," said Oxford resident Paul Comer.  "As far as a sex crime, I guess you could consider it a sex crime."

If Lillo is convicted, he would likely not fall under the new law.

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