Friday, February 09, 2007

Could You Let A Sex Offender Into Your Home?

Sex Offenders In Jobs That Take Them Into Private Homes
Offenders In Virginia List Home, Work Address
NBC - Washington DC
February 8, 2007

Watch Video: Sex Offenders On The Job

FAIRFAX, Va. -- Most people would think twice before allowing a convicted sex offender into their home to do work.

But News4 has learned there are dozens of employers in northern Virginia who have hired sex offenders to do jobs that take them into private homes.

Starting in July, Virginia's sex offender registry began requiring offenders to add work addresses alongside the home addresses they've been listing for years.

They have served their time and they are following the law by registering as sex offenders and providing their work addresses. But a News4 examination shows they've been hired for jobs that might surprise people.

Three sex offenders list their employer as labor finders. The temp agencies cite the many jobs these men might be sent to do.

Two other men work for moving companies. It's work that takes them into private homes.

And several more say plumbing companies have hired them. That's a job that potentially provides access to homes.

Diane Beatty is a safety advocate whose organization works with the Fairfax County Police Department and conducts community presentations.

She questions the employers who've hired offenders to work inside customers' homes.

"I see they should be able to have a job, but if it's a moving company, maybe they could tie that person to doing appointments," said Beatty. "Do they really need to be the person who comes into my home and moves my furniture while my children are there? Absolutely not."

One Fairfax County mother knows firsthand that offenders can strike even when they are working on a busy job site. Her family was moving back into their Fairfax County home in July 2000 when a moving man attacked her 8-year-old daughter after she left the room briefly to take something upstairs.

"She ran up and told me one of the movers had hurt her and put his hands in her pants," she said.
The mother said the case reveals what can happen to children even when parents or other adults are nearby. She too questions some employers' staffing decisions.

When News4 contacted employers, some failed to return repeated calls seeking comment. But the owners of both moving companies said their employees have proved to be good workers and won their trust.

In contrast, the owner of one of the plumbing companies said he never knew the man he hired was a sex offender and he's distressed because although he fired the man for poor work, his company is still listed on the registry.

Like Virginia, the District of Columbia also requires sex offenders to list their place of employment, but only the address, not the company name.

In Maryland, individuals can request employment information for a particular offender, but so far, corrections officials have decided not to publicly list employers.


Post a Comment

<< Home