Proposed law protects kids from sex offenders

Posted at 6:59 PM, Apr 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-26 23:37:42-04

A South Florida mother hopes close a loophole she says puts kids in danger.

The property manager at her apartment was convicted of sexually assaulting her son in 2013. That man was a registered sex offender at the time, having served time for child pornography charges.

She worked with an attorney to sue her landlord. Through the process, the lawyer discovered landlords are not legally required to tell tenants if a registered sex offender works at the property.

The mom does not want to be identified to help protect her son, who was a minor at the time of the incident. She said she wants to change the law so parents are aware if a sex offender is near their children.

Her lawyer drafted the Sex Offender Rental Notification Act. The mother hopes it becomes law in Florida.

“I would like to help other families that do not know. It might be a few people, or this story could help hundreds of others,” the mother said at a press conference.

The group behind the act has started an online petitionto get support for the bill. It would require a landlord to tell a tenant, or potential tenant, whether they screen employees for sex offenses.

“We have had too many instances of little kids who have suffered by somebody who literally had the keys to the house. This is preventable,” added attorney Christopher Marlowe from The Haggard Law Firm.

He pointed out laws restrict sex offenders from living in certain places, but don’t prohibit them from getting a job at a rental community where they have access to children.  

Marlowe said he is reaching out to state legislators to find someone who will work the bill through the process in Tallahassee.