Law Allows Maud Sex Offender To Live One Block From School

Thursday, May 5th 2011, 10:55 pm
By: News 9

Dana Hertneky, News 9

MAUD, Oklahoma -- There's concern in Maud over a registered sex offender who lives just a block away from a school.

The Maud police chief says he has asked the Seminole County District Attorney to file charges, but says the D.A. won't do it.

But the District Attorney tells News 9 his hands are tied.

Frank Jones is a registered sex offender convicted back in 1995 of lewd or indecent proposals/acts to a child and forcible sodomy.

His registered address is on E. Monroe in Maud, one block away from the school.

"Way too close to my kids and the school," said Bob Watson who is the Mayor of Maud. "There's probably 10 or 15 kids who live within a block of that house."

He says citizens have been complaining to him about Jones ever since he was elected back in 2007.

"Every chief I've had up to this point in the city hasn't done anything about it, and I asked Mr. Bottoms to check into it again and in fact he lives close to a school," said Watson.

But Chief Tom Bottoms says when he filed the complaint with the district attorney's office it went nowhere.

"I would like to know why the district attorney's office feels like it's safe for a registered sex offender to live within 2000 feet of our school here in Maud and district attorney's offices in other places don't allow that to happen," said Chief Bottoms.

But, the D.A. tells us, there's nothing he can do because of an exception to the law: a 2005 attorney general's opinion that says if an offender resided at an address at time they were convicted, he can return to that home.

"The assistant learned from the defense that they had witnesses to testify that he had lived there prior to the time of his conviction," Seminole County District Attorney Chris Ross said.

That means Jones can continue living a block away from the school, until he moves on his own.

There is one other exception to the law, and it seems to apply to Jones as well.

That is if the offender was released prior to 2003 and lives at the same address as he did then he can't be forced to move.

Find out if there is a registered sex offender living in your neighborhood by going to the Oklahoma State Sex Offender Registry.