MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis Police Department arrested a registered sex offender they say spent a weekend at a hotel with three young girls.
Police don't think the children were harmed, but the incident is a major violation for a convicted sex offender.
Lonnie Buckley was just released from jail in early May after being charged with not reporting his vehicles to the sex offender registry and not reporting he was released from jail.
"I don't believe he done (sic) what they say he done," Clinton White, Buckley's next door neighbor, said.
White only recently learned that Buckley is classified as a violent sex offender against children--convicted in 1992 of rape involving an 11-year-old girl.
MPD wanted to find Buckley, who was accused of being with a missing 14-year-old girl at a Memphis hotel at the end of May.
A police affidavit states that Buckley picked up the girl, who he knew, at her home May 27. Two other girls, who appeared to be minors, were in the car.
White said he saw the girls at Buckley's home.
"They were playing outside they were having fun," he said.
MPD said Buckley took the girls to a motel in Southaven and spent the night with them. The next day they went to the Knights Inn in Memphis where he spent the night with the girls.
"They were down there swimming," White said.
White talked with Buckley on Tuesday.
"He said, 'They got it twisted. They got it backwards.' He said, 'That ain't the truth,'" White said.
Another neighbor, who did not want to be identified, said Buckley appeared to be a nice man.
"I still don't believe that. I think they got the information wrong. I can't see him doing that. He's so meek," the neighbor said. She added that Buckley mows neighbors' lawns who need help.
White said police were at Buckley's house Tuesday looking for him. They didn't find him, White said, because he was at work.
Buckley even sat in his driveway all night waiting for police.
"He ain't running. He's not running," White said.
Police arrested Buckley on Wednesday morning.
This all stems from the 1992 conviction. Buckley is not allowed to be alone with minors, thus the charge of violation of the Tennessee Sexual Offender and Violent Sexual Offender Registration.
A bond had not yet been set for Buckley.