VIDEO: Sacramento-area community demands sex offender moves out

63-year-old Eldridge Chaney Jr.
63-year-old Eldridge Chaney Jr.

 

ROSEVILLE (KRON/KTXL) — Two Sacramento-area communities are dealing with sexual predators moving into their neighborhoods.

On Thursday, a violent predator is expected to move into a Yuba County home.

And in Roseville, a sex-offender is being allowed back into a neighborhood after violating his parole.

So what, if anything, can people do if a sex predator is placed in their community?

Ty and Nikki, legal experts, tell KTXL that when a sex offender is placed, those who live in the area are not totally powerless.

But they admit there’s little they can do to prevent a sex offender from moving in.

“I bought my wife a gun already,” resident Joel Garcia said.

Garcia and his family’s way of life is about to change.

“Hobby airplanes we used to fly around here because no traffic, they used to play soccer out, they don’t do that anymore,” Garcia said. “Why? Because he’s here. He’s going to be here.”

The “he” Garcia is talking about is 63-year-old Eldridge Chaney Jr. who is set to move in down the street Thursday.

“How are they going to rehab him here? There’s nothing around here,” Garcia said.

Chaney is just one of hundreds of sexually violent predators living in California.

The Department of Corrections defines a “sexually violent predator” as a person convicted of a sexually violent offense against one or more victims and has been diagnosed with a mental disorder.

It is a population few want to have living next to them.

“But on the other hand, you can’t just have some leper colony where we put them all,” attorney Mark Reichel said.

Reichel says in 2006, 70 percent of voters supported Jessica’s law, which increased the penalties for sex offenders and limited where they could live.

But in 2015, the state supreme court shot down the blanket restrictions.

“That’s not narrowly tailored enough to each individual’s needs and to what they did,” Reichel said.

But just as Chaney is moving in, 60-year-old Robert Stephenson is moving out of his Roseville neighborhood.

60-year-old Robert Stephenson
60-year-old Robert Stephenson

After more than two years of living in a home on Champagne Circle, investigators say they found child porn on several of his devices.

“I’m just glad he’s no longer there,” Roseville Vice Mayor Bonnie Groe said.

Groe happens to live in that neighborhood.

And after her experience, she says she’s been working with state lawmakers to give neighbors more power to say no to sex offenders moving in.

“Let’s hope that we can make a change because nobody should have the feeling of being unsafe in their own home because the state has allowed a sexual offender to live next door,” Groe said.

However, Reichel warns neighbors should have more faith in the system.

“Their re-offense to those in their own community where they’re placed is probably very very low,” Reichel said. “We can’t lock somebody up for life when the crime doesn’t call for that.”

The State Division of Adult Parole Operations did not respond to a request for details on how exactly the process of placing sex offenders works.

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