Mayor seeks change in law after sex offender moves near park

wwny Mayor seeks change in law after sex offender moves near park

WEST CARTHAGE, N.Y. (WWNY) - When a sex offender got out of prison after a 6-year sentence, he was moved to a West Carthage hotel, but not many in the village knew about it. Now the mayor wants a policy to ensure something like this doesn't happen again.

Chelsea Carr is a parent in West Carthage.

When a Level 3 sex offender, convicted of sexually abusing an 8 year old girl in 2012, was moved into a nearby hotel, Carr was never told.

"I thought that they had to make an announcement if they were going to be around anywhere there were going to be children. And, with living next to the park, you'd figure that would be one of the things," said Carr.

According to village Mayor Scott Burto, there's no New York state law keeping a sex offender from living near a park.

"There's nothing in state law right now that identifies a recreational area or playground as a restricted area. It identifies schools," he said.

Something the village got firsthand experience in after the Lewis County Department of Social Services moved the sex offender into the Pleasant Night Inn.

The hotel is under half a mile from a Franklin Street park and playground.

"The village is looking at adopting a local law that's a little more restrictive to the areas that they can stay at, or live in, that would hopefully eliminate that from happening in the future," said Burto.

Burto has asked the village clerk and village police to come up with a draft for the local law using other laws as an example.

One restricts any sex offender from living half a mile from places where children usually are, like a park or playground.

Carr appreciates the effort the village is making to make sure her son and niece are safe.

"It makes me feel a lot more at ease because then we wouldn't have to worry about the people that our children are exposed to," she said.

Hotel records show the sex offender lived at the Pleasant Night Inn from late September to mid-October.

Hotel staff declined an interview.

We reached out the Lewis County Department of Social Services and have not heard back.

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