September 3, 2011

Neighbors Learn Care Home Housing Sex Offenders Will Stay

9-3-2011 Oregon:

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Ever since three sex offenders moved in a neighborhood just outside of Corvallis, residents have been on edge wondering how the three men could be moved into a once quiet, kid-friendly neighborhood.

On Thursday night, they asked, and got some answers at a neighborhood meeting.

The meeting started with a panel of local and state officials answering written questions submitted by residents.

They were assured many things such as immediate response from Benton County deputies if the sex offenders caused any trouble.

They were told the group home is legally-funded, that all three of the men are there because they were civily-committed and mentally unstable, and security is tight.

But that doesn't ease the pain for the handful of women who have been sexually assaulted, and now have to live next door to similar offenders.

And when they asked if their children have a right to not live in fear, the answer was simple: no, there is no law to guarantee that.

"I am pregnant with my fifth child and this bothers me immensly that no consideration was taking into the fact that the demographic of the neighborhood," said Katie Carleski.

"There's not children outside playing anymore. You don't live there. You have no idea what it's like," said Sandra Altheide, Sandra Lyn Care Homes owner.

"In your heart of hearts you have to know that this is wrong, and you have to know that there is another place for those people and it is not in our neighborhood," said Ramona Fricke.

But their pleas for a change went unheeded.

"I understand the neighbors concerns as they were spoken, and really at this point the residents in the facility haven't done anything wrong, the facility is in compliance with our regulations and statutes so we won't be moving the residents and the home will stay where it is," said Len Ray, Oregon Health Authority Mental Health Services Administrator.

Regardless, residents say they're not giving up. ..Source.. by Heather Turner

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