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Registered Sex Offender Seeks Exemption to Live Near School

Convicted of attempted rape 15 years ago, a registered sex offender publicly asks Murrieta City Council to give him a three-month exemption from an ordinance barring him from living near a school.

A convicted sex offender is seeking an exemption from the city of Murrieta so he can temporarily reside within 1,000 feet of a school, which under a city ordinance would make him guilty of a misdemeanor.

The offender, whose name Patch agreed not to publish to protect the identity of his innocent family members, made the request during public comments at Tuesday’s Murrieta City Council meeting.

Now married with a young child, the 34-year-old man said he was convicted of attempted rape when he was 19 and living in Utah. The laws in that state require that sex offenders register their addresses for 10 years following a first-time conviction, while in California the registration must be maintained for life.

The city of Murrieta puts further restrictions on sex offenders. An ordinance approved in 2010 made it a misdemeanor if a sex registrant whose conviction involves an offense against a child resides within 2,000 feet of schools, parks or day care centers.

State law mandates that all persons convicted of sex, drug, arson and gang offenses must register with their local law enforcement agency, the Murrieta Police Department website states. If a registrant moves within the same jurisdiction they are required to report their change of address to that agency.

The man told Council he has formally been released from the requirement that he register in Utah. He added that he has submitted paperwork to the Department of Justice seeking exclusion from Megan’s Law, which since 2004 has required the publication of the current address, photo and offense or offenses of those convicted of sex crimes.

According to the man’s online Megan’s Law profile, he was convicted of “attempted race by force or fear.”

“I guess you could categorize it as something stupid I did as a teenager...getting mixed up with a girl at a party and her fiancé finding out,” he said. “For the last 15 years it is something I have dealt with...I have become a lot stronger person for it and become a lot better of a person for it, as unfortunate as it all was...Now I have a wife and a little daughter and we have lived here several years...Unfortunately I also happen to be one of Murrieta’s registered sex offenders.”

Recently, he said he and his wife were forced to move out of their rental home because it was sold.

“I can not move within 2,000 feet of a school or park. Finding a place to fulfill those requirements is...becoming exceedingly difficult...My crime had nothing to do with children.”

He asked for a three-month exemption from the city so he can temporarily move in with his in-laws, whose residence falls within 1,000 feet of a school—which one he did not say. 

During those three months, they would save money to move out of state, he said.

City’s Response

While a Murrieta police officer did speak with the man Tuesday following his request before City Council, a Murrieta police spokesperson, Lt. Rob Firmes, said he was not aware whether any action had been taken.

Police Chief Mike Baray was in attendance at the City Council meeting, but Firmes said the chief was out of the office through Tuesday so he could not comment further.

Murrieta Mayor Rick Gibbs publicly thanked the man for his candor, but said Council could not immediately respond since the matter was not on that meeting’s agenda.

“This was the first time an exemption was requested by a registered sex offender,” Gibbs said, in an emailed response to Patch’s request for comment.

As of Friday, no one from the City had responded to the man’s request, according to Gibbs.

“While I appreciate this young man's candor with what was an extremely tough admission to make in public, the fact is that California law states that such an offense is always on the books,” Gibbs said. “This would make action by council rather doubtful. Whether the hypothetical action was to affirm or deny an exemption, it would put the council in a position that may not  be legally prudent.”

The city’s ordinance barring sex registrants from living near schools, parks or day care centers is one Gibbs is quite familiar with, he told Patch.

“Several years ago, there was a neighborhood in Murrieta that contacted me after a registered sex offender, who had served his time, set up residence on a street filled with young children. The neighbors were quite agitated.

“I took up their cause and we wrote a legally defensible ordinance that keeps sex offenders away from locations where children congregate. However, it still permitted offenders to reside in the community in locations not within the exclusion zones.

“The only thing Council was worried about at the time was the protection of our children.

“Since the Council has a sex offender ordinance in place, it is not clear that we could or should violate our own ordinance.”

The man did not respond to a request for comment from Patch as to whether he planned to follow up with the City.

calistar January 20, 2013 at 10:29 PM
Yes, I agree we need to keep our children safe from predators. However, a former 19yo convicted of a sex crime against another teenager is not someone considered a predator by nature. If he had been 17 and she 13, there would not be an issue. My son's birth mother was 14 and his birth father was the 27yo married neighbor she babysat for. No charges were ever brought against him and the state was well aware of the situation. I worry more about the unscrupulous people like that, or the father, uncle, or relative that sexually abuses their own. I believe we are going to have to classify sexual offenders by the heinous acts they commit. We have degrees of murder, why can't we have that here? I think we can all agree that this man's crime if far different than violent rape or sexual abuse of a child. We need to judge accordingly. Besides, sexual predators are everywhere. Personally, I'd rather know that one is living near me so I can be vigilant. It's the fathers sexually abusing their daughters in secret that live near me that scare me more.
Katie Rucker January 20, 2013 at 10:44 PM
Monster? He didn't attack, harass, or abuse any children. I hardly see how it is fair to treat him as if he did. He's got a child of his own, I'm betting he feels the exact same way about his child as you do yours, but I'm sure he's more worried about people who have actually committed a crime against children rather than those who made a mistake when they were a teen and haven't been convicted of any crimes since.
Wouldn't You Like To Know January 20, 2013 at 10:47 PM
It doesn't say that he raped anyone. It just says "attempted". FYI: You don't have to rape someone to become a sex offender, and chances are he was probably drunk or something, and we all know that people make the best decisions when they're drunk, right? You can't judge a person's life based on a mistake they made when they were young. When I was 13, I stole a wallet from a girl who bullied me. I got caught, and the police were nice enough to leave it off of my record. I've regretted it ever since, and I've never had the urge to take something that isn't mine since. Believe it or not, I was just a kid and I grew up, as most people do. That was 8 years ago, should I still be called a thief and treated as such? I don't believe so.
Wouldn't You Like To Know January 20, 2013 at 10:58 PM
As someone who was molested as a child, I can tell you that I have no problem at all with this man and his family taking up short term residency at his parents house, which just so happens to be close to a school. This man should not be treated like a criminal when he has already paid for his crime. His state doesn't even recognize him as an offender anymore and California shouldn't be making his life a living hell because of his actions as a youth. That is just ridiculous. He made a stupid mistake, and it was not against children. Rarely is it the young guys who are targeting children, it's the older men, middle aged or older. In my case, the man who abused me was in his 80's, and he was family. Usually the children they target are the ones they are closest to: family, or family friends. This guy shouldn't be targeted. What you're worried about is a man abducting your children, abusing them and/or killing them. Why would a married man with a child of his own abduct children? What would he gain from that? He asked for permission to stay with his parents instead of just doing it and hoping he doesn't get caught, which means he has good intentions, and he intends on staying out of trouble with the law so that he can continue providing for his family, and I don't think he should be kept from that right. But these opinions are just coming from a girl who was continually molested between the ages of 8 and 12.
calistar January 20, 2013 at 11:39 PM
Well said, Wouldn't! My heart goes out to you for your loss of innocence.
John Kirk De Ritis January 21, 2013 at 02:03 AM
Is the city council Kicking the can down the road ? It took courage and moxie to approach the city council with this. He has asked for a limited exemption. I think the court of public opinion sees that he had an indiscretion as a teenager It did not involve children He is motivated. Do the Christian thing an approve this do that he can support his family and move on with his life
livinsloher January 21, 2013 at 02:08 AM
just because someone has a child of their own doesn't mean anything! Lots of molesters molest their own children and I am not saying this is what this guy did and I am not saying he is guilty or should have to live with this the rest of his life believe me the only information any of us have is what is being told or known... WE DO NOT KNOW...the facts are: HE is a registered sex offender do we now need to start moving the line or rule of what is expected what about the next one with his person story and redemption? who knows??? what I DO KNOW we have laws in place and when you start trying to make allowances and start bending and changing rules then where does that line stop ??? and then it opens others up for the same consideration??? true or not true??? and it takes one ....and then it opens the doors to be able to ask the same and then we are paying to have these hearings as well as our time as well as risk that maybe future....and again I don't mean by this individual but this is a law and I say KEEP OUR LAW in place. Most people ask for pardon as this is a part of our law as well and then we wouldn't be having this discussion or find another friend or family member to stay with? It is up to all of us to keep the laws we have in order to protect our children these laws were for good reason! You start feeling sorry for one then before you know it how many more???
livinsloher January 21, 2013 at 02:10 AM
just because someone has a child of their own doesn't mean anything! Lots of molesters molest their own children and I am not saying this is what this guy did and I am not saying he is guilty or should have to live with this the rest of his life believe me the only information any of us have is what is being told or known... WE DO NOT KNOW...the facts are: HE is a registered sex offender do we now need to start moving the line or rule of what is expected what about the next one with his person story and redemption? who knows??? what I DO KNOW we have laws in place and when you start trying to make allowances and start bending and changing rules then where does that line stop ??? and then it opens others up for the same consideration??? true or not true??? and it takes one ....and then it opens the doors to be able to ask the same and then we are paying to have these hearings as well as our time as well as risk that maybe future....and again I don't mean by this individual but this is a law and I say KEEP OUR LAW in place. Most people ask for pardon as this is a part of our law as well and then we wouldn't be having this discussion or find another friend or family member to stay with? It is up to all of us to keep the laws we have in order to protect our children these laws were for good reason! You start feeling sorry for one then before you know it how many more???
livinsloher January 21, 2013 at 02:14 AM
what I really would like to see.... is the court papers.... or from the victim!!! as we can write and tell what ever it is and more then likly the case is closed so it will not be any other then what this guy wants to tell.... ok so if the paper has written about this I hope they will investigate completely on this... and I stand strong about not changing our laws!
livinsloher January 21, 2013 at 02:29 AM
OMG!!! PEOPLE!!!! you only have what he has told....YOU HAVE NO IDEAL who this guy is and just because he says he is married now and with a child! For Gods sake what in the world??? just because he says it will only be for a few months? ummm I have had relatives who have said that and was at my home a year later! He states he has a child??? so what does that prove he can bare children??? and married??? many stupid women marry rapist murderers and in domestic abuse relationships all the time don't believe me go down to the prison and see for yourself! I am so glad you have your little heart going out to him....let them stay at your home if you are so willing to forgive! I can't believe this??? am I the only one feeling on the opposite end of this??? so the guy lost his rental house because??? seriously you dont know if it was because he is a drug addict or not paying his rent or ??? many things what I am trying to say you get a little bit of a sob story and say lets let this guy! would you off of the information above be willing to leave your child or teenager with this person (I hope not) yet listen to yourselves! I am wondering who really knows about this guy besides that little bit of information??? next sex offender with a record comes along and says and ask for the same then what??? Maybe smog or something has fogged your brains??? seriously!!!
livinsloher January 21, 2013 at 02:46 AM
thats what I am talking about!!! dang I was wondering if everyone here was a friend or family member of this guy!
livinsloher January 21, 2013 at 02:53 AM
NO we are going off of our laws and if he wants to live in Utah where he is free from registering then so be it GO!!! and as far as other states and their back woods laws and believe me as I have seen this its unbelievable so California may have a few more laws to protect our children if its a problem go back to Utah and if he is here he has to abide by California laws...PERIOD!!! and Sherry not cold hearted just facts honey...well said!
livinsloher January 21, 2013 at 02:56 AM
let him go get a pardon! If it is as he says then he may be able to put it behind him however we really dont know all we do know is what has been brought to the light.
Wouldn't You Like To Know January 21, 2013 at 03:21 AM
Yeah, keep talking as if you know the person. What if he was wrongly accused and is falsely labeled as a sex offender? I think I can quote you here, "YOU HAVE NO IDEAL who this guy is..." so stop acting as if you know his life and his intentions. If he made a deal with the city council to stay for 3 months, that would mean that he has 3 months to get out. They would not let him stay longer, unless stated otherwise. And seriously, it says right in the article why he lost the rental house, "Recently, he said he and his wife were forced to move out of their rental home because it was sold." Which doesn't happen because someone is doing drugs, or just not paying rent, it happens because the owner sells the house. Happens all the time. The thing is that he was convicted of a MISTAKE he made when he was a teenager, god forbid we be humans, right? And in the 15 years following, his record is completely CLEAN. He didn't even so much as steal a candy bar. He even did the right thing in coming to the city council to ask for permission instead of breaking the law and hoping to get away with it. He is actively trying to do the right thing and make sure that he is doing the best for his family, and you want to burn him at the stake just because he's imperfect like the rest of us! You convict him of crimes he has never committed just because of probably cause, that's just wrong. You'd rather his family be punished because of his past rather than help a fellow human being. How disgusting.
LBV Collins January 21, 2013 at 03:42 AM
Good grief, livinsloher... Get a little too much caffeine in your bloodstream this evening? I suspect that everything the young man claims about his transgression and his current situation is available to the public and the information will likely be verified before a decision is made. I imagine that the Council will do what's appropriate. In the meantime, go sip some decaf herbal tea and try to relax.
all-c-ing-eye January 21, 2013 at 04:26 AM
I intend to agree with LBV and the very fact he came forward and in turn alerted the council,and the P.D. that he wished this 3 month courtesy says volumes for a decision in his favor. The one thing I think that may cause the council to deny the request is with Calif. law being what it is Murrieta might be held liable should the worst case scenario occur. Even if it didnt, it still might be a violation of the state books. I wish the man well and that he and his family can live somewhere happily ever after. Thank You.
mesamama January 21, 2013 at 05:16 AM
I am a victim of sexual abuse and also was one of the neighbors who ran a registered sex offender out of our neighborhood that the city council referred to. I believe this law, as with many others, is a blanket and really needs to be a little more fine tuned. It sounds well and good until you get the case of a 17 year old who has sex with a 19 year old boyfriend or girlfriend. Would we even be talking about this if the girl was the 19 year old and the boy was 15? The RSO who was living in our neighborhood committed sex crimes against two young boys ( approximately 11 and 12 years old) who were related to him. Wile I don't know all the facts to this particular case, it sounds as though it may not be as clear cut as we all would like to believe. I don't believe that because he has a child that excuses him from committing horrific acts. But I do believe that his candor in gong to the city council with his case and with them being able to investigate more deeply that perhaps it is one of the cases that should be looked at a little closer. Listen, I received death threats against my children for running that RSO out of town and would do it again because I felt that if he would commit those heinous crimes against young boys that he was related to he would do it to anyone. I just think that we have to take a look at these cases individually.
That Guy January 21, 2013 at 06:08 AM
Wow! I am really impressed at how many open minded people there are that are willing to consider the facts of a case before they make up their mind to judgement. Im also not very surprised at how many people have their minds made up in advance and let their passion and past convictions rule their thinking. There are plenty of people out there who feel that all sex offenders should be taken out somewhere and shot. Im glad Jesus commanded us to forgive those who have offended us, not to excuse what they did but more importantly to free ourselves of the intense hate and anger often associated with it. No matter what any judge or supreme court justice ever decides, Jesus will make everything right in the end. He will punish all those who got away with it or got off easy. He will also restore to all those who paid unfairly or were wrongly punished. If you truly believe in God, then trust that He will take care of such things in the Most appropriate way, not mans way, but His way. Im not saying you have to like or even try to understand why people have done and continue to do such horrible things, but don't let the negative feelings consume you and furrow your brow. Life is best spent with love, no one ever wished they had been angrier towards their fellow man.
That Guy January 21, 2013 at 06:30 AM
Now I would like to say that I do not believe that the city ordinance should be changed nor do I feel that laws governing sex offenders should be any easier. I do feel that the state laws should be made clearer and defined into levels or tiers so that dumb teenagers who made a mistake at a college party aren't grouped together with elderly men who molest little children. I believe a process should exist for determining on a case by case basis if exemptions are to be made. Sex crimes are a very sensitive subject for people and unfortunately lumping them all together and hoping they just move away isn't going to work well. Going before the city council isn't fun but the ordinance says that they are the ones who must decide if such exemptions are to be allowed. It was the right thing to do. At least he'll know he tried.
Beach mom January 21, 2013 at 06:51 AM
Thank you for the good belly laugh!!
Cyclist January 21, 2013 at 07:13 AM
Wouldn't-There is a big difference between a 13 year old (minor) that steals a wallet and a 19 year old (adult) that tries to RAPE someone. What if that someone was your mom or sister? He TRIED to RAPE someone, meaning he had every intention to RAPE someone, something just didn't go right. This dirtbag can go back to Utah if he doesn't like our laws in California.
livinsloher January 21, 2013 at 01:35 PM
addy .....how do you know really who his crime is against??? because he said so? because he is a father? or because he is a husband? or because he only wants to stay 3 months? have you ever thought the inlaws are hoping like hell they say NO and they made him ask??? doesn't matter you DO NOT have all the facts only what he is telling us and all I have to say is haven't met someone who is a crimminal (not saying he hasnt redeemed hisself) but haven't met a crimminal who is an admitted crimminal nor have a met a thief who isn't a liar too? does that make any sense? ask your police officers how many truthful answers is given from these people? they will lie and lie by omission (for those of us who have seemed to have bumped their heads meaning of omission: to lie by leaving important information out of the truth!
livinsloher January 21, 2013 at 01:43 PM
I just see mistake made all the time and crimminals are let go to reoffend and this has happened many times and I just don't want to open the door to give someone a chance at my child!
livinsloher January 21, 2013 at 09:03 PM
because Alex this guy has chosen to be in California so let him abide by California laws if he wants to live by and judged by Utah's law then let him live in Utah! whats to say this guy didn't almost rape a 13 yr old when he was 19 or would it be better if he almost raped your granmother? which is worse? Why does everyone assume he chose to do the right thing and come forth? Maybe the in laws told him to do so in hopes it wouldn't go through? who knows? none of us! Just what is being told to us and to me I feel I don't want to start making changes to our laws however I do believe people do deserve a second chance and that is why they can ask to have their records sealed or a pardon. Oh and I may add to this is he was convicted up attempted rape but how many of us know that most of the time charges are always pled down? Plea to this and we drop this? just saying...
M. Lee Davis January 21, 2013 at 09:14 PM
I'm worried!!!!! There are 46 comments on this thread and none of them are from Brenda! Someone needs to do a welfare check on her to see if she is OK!
livinsloher January 21, 2013 at 09:20 PM
that guy.... I don't have my mind made up as I don't know anything about this guy and do believe people deserve second chances but I guess I have seen a lot through the courts and know that people only tell what they want to tell but I want to know all the facts not just bits and pieces...
robert January 22, 2013 at 08:44 PM
After pursing the above comments, the only thing I can contribute is that it is my understanding that the law is descretionary.
Kyle Murphy January 24, 2013 at 06:31 PM
Livin: Your distrust and argument or lack of one is petty and illogical. The fact is he got involved with an engaged Woman when he was 19 and from what it sounds like, the only reason he was charged was because "her fiance found out". The fact is he has a clean record since then and a family. He is trying to avoid legal charges by asking and wants to save money to get out of the state so that he and his family can live better.
Robert Diggler March 04, 2013 at 04:51 PM
Actually they all live in Hemet

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