Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Larry Grooms - Repeat Sex Offender - Proves Registry Prevents Sexual Crimes

A registered sex offender is arrested after allegedly watching children at a church in Gaston County.
Deputies say Larry Grooms was hanging around a tree line near New Covenant United Methodist Church, watching children who were attending Bible school.

Deputies had heard complaints before about a stranger watching the children, but this time a parent recognized Grooms because she had seen him on the sex offender registry.
"No one had seen the person that they could identify, but on this particular incident they were able to give us a name," said Capt. D. Griffin with the Gaston County Sheriff's Department.

Deputies say that Grooms was on a moped with a dog or a puppy in his possession. He was allegedly trying to make small talk with some of the kids. Nothing happened, but deputies say he did enough to break the law.
"He stares at them. He looks at them and that's why I don't trust him," said Ginger Deaton, who lives in the same community as Grooms.

Deaton says her 9-year-old twin girls are so scared that they carry baseball bats with them when they go outside.

"I won't let my girls go anywhere without each other, and when they go check the mail they carry a baseball bat with them. That's how scared they are," she said.

Now, some neighbors plan to ask Grooms to move.

"We don't want him in here," Deaton said. "There are too many children."

The Jessica Lunsford Act -- signed into law in 2008 -- bans registered offenders from "any place where minors gather for regularly scheduled educational, recreational, or social programs."

To check the North Carolina Sex Offender Registry, visit sexoffender.ncdoj.gov.

"25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years"
.........Sarah Tofte

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