Keeping track of a homeless sex offender

Keeping track of a homeless sex offender
BENTON COUNTY, Wash. - Jerry Sharp's story caught your attention like wildfire. The level-three sex offender had moved in across from Sacajawea Elementary School.

When KEPR showed the neighborhood's effort to get Sharp out he decided to make it easier for them.

"I'm going to free the problem from the neighborhood," said Jerry Sharp.

During that exclusive interview, Sharp also announced he'd be living out of his car. That would seemingly make it more difficult to police to track his whereabouts.

Nearly 2 weeks later, KEPR followed up with neighbors and the Sheriff's Office, in charge of tracking Sharp.

According the the sheriff's department, until he has a permanent address Sharp needs to check in weekly rather than every 90-days.

KEPR asked Dep. Joe Lusignan, "It would appear as though there's a tighter grip or tighter leash on sex offenders that have to check in every week versus the 90 days. Would that be the case in this situation?

"You know, within 90 days, 3 months, there's a lot that can go wrong in those 3 months," he said.

Sharp is one of 13 homeless sex offenders living in the county that must register every Wednesday with the Sheriff's Department. A full list, detailing where he stayed for the past week must be turned in at the time of his visit. That list is then gone over with a fine-toothed comb to make sure he's not hanging around any place kids may be.

That gives parents like Karim Georgy some reassurance.

"Of course I feel a lot safer of course but uh, I could imagine everyone feels the same, too," he said.

Deputies also patrol the spots where Sharp and other level two and level three sex offenders say they've been frequenting.
Failing to check in or lying on his whereabouts can put them back in jail.

Karim continues, "What ever they have to do to keep him away from here. So if it's every week, everyday, everyday would be better."

It's still better than not knowing what he's up to.

KEPR also learned current State Rep. Brad Klippert is promising to propose a new bill to tighten up the loophole that let Sharp live so close to a school.

There is a limit on distance but it's based on conviction date.

Because Sharp was convicted prior to the law he was able to live nearly across the street from the school on Catskill Street without penalty.

Klippert is up for re-election.

Calls made to his opponent were not returned.