Sex Offender Search - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Jason Miles

Sex Offender Search

One in six boys will be sexually molested before his 18th birthday.

For girls, the chance is even greater -- one in five!

Richard Thomas says, "I worked for DeSoto County Schools..."

Thomas is a convicted sex offender -- charged with the sexual battery of a 15-year-old boy.
  
He lives blocks away from Southaven's Hope Sullivan Elementary School.

A computer website by Family Watchdog is supposed to track the whereabouts of people like Richard Thomas.
  
Just type in "Southaven" and instantly you're looking at a map of school houses and sex offenders!

It works for any city.
  
The white dots represent schools...and according to records obtained by Family Watchdog -- each of those red dots -- a sex offender who committed crimes against children!

Capt. Len Edwards with Memphis Police says, "You're only a key-stroke away from finding the location of the predators that may harm the children."

Captain Edwards heads-up the Commission on Missing and Exploited Children in Memphis.

Edwards continues, "People want to know more--they want to know who is in the neighborhood--what threats are out there toward children."
  
While putting Family Watchdog's map to the test...I was surprised to find Richard Thomas at this address in Southaven.
  
The website showed someone else living here -- a sex offender by the name of Randy Morris.

Turns out Thomas lives with Randy Morris...
  
2 sex offenders under one roof...2 of 4 sex offenders who live within a half-mile of Sullivan Elementary.

The website clearly didn't know Thomas'.
  
After a few calls, site creators fixed the glitch -- stating their software didn't recognize two or more sex offenders living in the same house.
  
Though I couldn't find Thomas on this map, he does show up on the state registry.

Police won't go that far...

Edwards continues, "I do compare it to an untreatable disease."

And say while websites like this one are not perfect -- they're a good place to start -- when it comes to protecting your children from the sex offender next door!

I must point out, the sex offenders Action News Five profiled all live within the law -- that's 15-hundred feet from the nearest school in the state of Mississippi.


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