New sex offender law in South Carolina

By: Gene Petriello Email
By: Gene Petriello Email

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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  • by rosie kelley Location: arkansas on Apr 8, 2009 at 09:17 AM
    My finace' is listed on the Sex Offender Registry and I know he is innocent, because this is where someone else used his name for multiple crimes and because of this, my fiance' is listed on the National and State sex offender database. No way of removing it, and it has ruined his life. Maybe states (GA and SC) should check someones identity when they are arrested and not cause another person problems that will follow them all of their lives. I feel sorry for anyone who has gone thru the humiliation of being molested or raped, the laws are their to prtect them, but the law enforcement departments seems to turn the other way and let the children of this country be abused, kidnapped and molested without any punishment of any kind.
  • by Terry on Jan 19, 2009 at 06:41 PM
    I am a sex offender and I have never wanted to do anything to a child. I slept with someone two years younger than me. Now tell me who hasn't done that?
  • by cp Location: south carolina on Dec 12, 2008 at 10:11 AM
    I am tired of predators who have committed sexual violence upon children complaining about the laws regarding where they can live when they unfortunately get out of jail on bond or parole or serve 85% of their sentences (if they even get a sentence that includes jail time). The laws should be stiffer for any abusive and violent acts against children (longer sentences; preferably the death penalty). Longer sentences and life in prison would guarantee the predators have housing and food and the rest of us would not have to listen to them whine about it anymore and would know that the world is safer with these vile people behind bars. And when someone who is related to the child who they are abusing is found out, guess what, they should get the same punishment. It seems like most of the people at this post are more concerned about the perp than the child. The probablility of a child lying about sexual or any kind of abuse is extremely low. 1,000 feet is not far enough.
  • by sd Location: South Carolina on Nov 17, 2008 at 06:42 AM
    Well where do i start. My husband is on the sex offender registry and is inocent and i know this bc the day the girl says this happened i was there. We were told if we went in front of a jury there would be no hope and my husband would spend most of his life in prison. He was talked into pleading no contest and rec no jail time. Do you think if they really believed he did this they would just slap him on the hand? Anyway we have 3 kids and its ruined all our lives people look at us like we are monsters everytime we step out the door. There are just to many holes in the justice system.
  • by harley Location: some where in s.c on Nov 8, 2008 at 10:28 PM
    im a 16 year old female who has been molested and raped and its not to fun. it really sucks when the guy gets off easy. i really appreciate the new law being set cuz now i can feel safer in school and out at the park hanging with my friends. there was a time shortly after my rap that i was scared to leave my home and i dont belive that any child should have to be scared at school or any public place. when it gets to the point that a child is scared to leave there home then it is time for something to be done and something has been done and i feel more safe and i hope alot of other victims and children will too. i just wanted to say thanks for making it a priority to keep us teenagers and kids safe from these perverts!!! thanks alot for making schools and parks safer for us to be in and i hope this will reduse the risk of these sex offenders attacking another child in the future!!!
  • by SexOffenderIssues Location: GA on Sep 13, 2008 at 08:16 AM When an ex-offender is forced to move from his/her home, thus having to sell it, cannot find another home within the law due to the residency "buffer" zones, get fired from their jobs due to being on the registry, cannot find a new job due to being on the registry, their husband/wife lose their jobs due to a significant other being on the registry, their children lose their friends and are harassed and bullied in school due to a family member being on the registry, thus destroying the children's lives, ex-offenders are forced into homelessness and to live under bridges, harassed by police, neighbors and probation/parole officers, have to wear "I'm a sex offender T-shirt" or have a neon green license plate on ALL their cars, have "sex offender" on their drivers license and forced to renew their licenses every year, forced from shelters during tornadoes or hurricanes, cannot give blood at some places due to being discriminated against for being on
  • by Nicole Location: Summerville on Aug 21, 2008 at 07:17 AM
    I think that 1,000 feet is still to close.. They can make it further away???
  • by lee Location: sc on Aug 12, 2008 at 08:09 PM
    stupid people make stupid laws. why do people have to continue to hound other people because they made bad mistakes,let the sinner live his life in peace !!! stop acting like you have never made a mistake.. you filthy hypocrites !!!
  • by Edward Location: Spartanburg, SC on Jul 8, 2008 at 12:05 PM
    I dont want sex offenders near my children, but I know the legal system is far from perfect, with the recent charges brought against a 60 year old friend His niece accused him of touching her because he was going to tell on her for misbehaving. She ran to her Grandmother before he could reach her and made this accusation. I have known this man all my life he has several grandchildren who think the world of him. His eyes light up when he brags about them to others, he loves them beyound belief, but now he will be alienated from them because of this 10 year old child. I agree right is right and wrong is wrong but who is to say how many people have had the same happen to them. I believe its time to ovehaul the Justice system to protect those who are innocent of wrongful charges. the court looks for this quickest and cheapest way out, unless the acussed is rich, its time to socialize the court system and stop making lawyers RICH. Justice should be for all.
  • by Brooke Location: 29202 on Jul 7, 2008 at 06:24 AM
    The fact of the matter is, children are molested more by people they know than by people would live in accordance with the legal zoning laws. All the zoning laws do is force RSO to live elsewhere and just simply DRiVE to where they want to pick the child up. You can not stop an offender from driving to a play ground but you can make him bitter and angry and much more dangerous by forcing him into homelessness. A bitter angry sex offender is much more likely to lash out again than one who has done his time and just wants a chance to move on with his life. Believe or not there are a lot of sex offenders who may a mistake and did their time and just want a chance to live happily ever after with a job, family and even some times children of their own.
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