OKC Dads Discover Convicted Sex Offenders Not Always Registered

Wednesday, December 22nd 2010, 2:48 pm
By: News 9

Adrianna Iwasinski, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Two Oklahoma City fathers discovered that despite crime trackers and sex offender registries, parents can't always know if a convicted sex offender is living in their neighborhood.

Chris Sanford and Brett Holt said a neighbor exposed himself to their 10-year-old daughters and tried to molest one of them during a weekend slumber party.

"It makes me sick my daughter had to see such a foul act by an adult," Holt said.

Police arrested 67-year-old Jerry Glenn Elders on Sunday, but he has since bonded out.

Sanford and Holt said their girls were friends with Elder's granddaughter.

The fathers said once they made their report, they started researching state court records and discovered Elders had been convicted of a similar crime in 1993. Sanford said he checked the sex offender registry before moving into the neighborhood and Elders was not listed.

"There needs to be protection for children and right now there doesn't seem to be any," Sanford said.

News 9 checked with the Department of Corrections. A spokesperson said Elders plea deal shows he pleaded guilty and was convicted of outraging public decency, even though he originally faced multiple charges of indecent or lewd acts with a child. As a result, he was not required to register as a sex offender.

"There are certain crimes that are listed in the sex offender registration act that requires registration," said Jerry Massie with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. "If they are convicted of something other than one of those crimes then the sex offender registration act does not apply to them."

Search the Oklahoma Sex and Violent Crime Registry

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections maintains an online database of offenders on the state sex and violent crime offender registry. Habitual and aggravated offenders must register with this database for life. Whenever they move, they are supposed to check in with the local police or sheriff's office.

But some do not.

"The registration act obviously provides some information but it is not all encompassing and is not foolproof," Massie said.

There are more than 780 convicted sex offenders who have failed to register. Other sex offenders are only in the database for a period of 10 years after they complete their sentence. After 10 years, they do not need to register, unless they are later caught and convicted for a similar crime.