New sex offender law in South Carolina

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News 12 at 6 o'clock; June 17, 2008

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. – In an effort to protect your children, South Carolina is limiting where sex offenders can live. Every parent wants to protect their kids, especially when they're not around. So, South Carolina is getting on your side, so your kids can have fun and keep safe all at the same time.

9-year-old TJ was out taking advantage of the beautiful weather on Tuesday with with his dad.

"I get very excited. I like to come out here and run around," says TJ.

But even while he's running around, he's trying to keep safe.

"My safety is very important, and my dad doesn't want anything to happen to me," says TJ.

South Carolina isn't monkeying around when TJ comes out to throw the frisbee with his dad. A new sex offender law, signed by the governor, is designed to protect your kids.

"Kids, they're not around us 24/7 and they can be out here in the park by themselves. So, it's very important we keep these predators away," says dad Tronie Williams.

The new law will keep offenders 1,000 feet away from parks, public playgrounds, rec and daycare centers and schools.

"I spend a lot of time with my kids and out here with my son playing frisbee, my son and daughters on the tennis court. So I think it's important we have laws to protect all our kids," says Tronie.

But some offenders are getting a break by being grandfathered in. They won't have to move, even if they live within the thousand feet, if they lived there before the law is enacted.

That's something Tronie thinks the state is shuffling its feet on.

"They're touching kids just a much as people that are moving away. They should have to move out too. Wrong is wrong to me," says Tronie.

But at least at the park in North Augusta, Tronie and TJ know they can stretch for the big catch, without having a shadow of a sex offender living near them.

Just last month, News 12 told you about sex offenders going to a high school in Aiken County. We're told there are laws against sex offenders working in schools, but it would be unconstitutional to not allow kids in the school.

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