September 27, 2014

Sex offenders defy order to leave home

9-27-2014 Washington:

MARYSVILLE, Wash. -- Sex offenders have moved back into a church-run home, just a few months after the City of Marysville forced them out.

The home in the 15300 block of Smokey Boulevard is located in a light industrial area in Marysville. The city said that it was being used illegally as a residential facility for sex offenders and ex-cons.

"We've got fewer people in here now," said Pastor John Mack, who runs Holy Ghost Ministries. He says the church and its lawyers reviewed zoning laws and believe they have a right to run a church office, which includes several "caretakers," on the grounds. The caretakers are three registered sex offenders.

Previously, the church had nine sex offenders living in the home.

Level 1 sex offender Jim Baker says the home provides him with a stable environment that helps keep him on the straight and narrow.

Holy Ghost Ministries has grown over the years in Snohomish County. It now operates ten facilities that house or assist ex-cons – most of them hard-to-place registered sex offenders.

The ministry filed suit over the Smokey Point Boulevard evictions. That case is now being heard is U.S. District Court in Seattle. In the federal court case, attorney Scott Stafne says the city is violating the ministry's freedom of religion. He has also filed emails that he says show the Marysville Police Department and other city entities conspired to kick the sex offenders out of all Marysville facilities related to the sex offender housing.

A City of Marysville spokesperson declined to discuss the case, citing the pending litigation. ..Source.. by Chris Ingalls

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