TEXAS: THE SEX OFFENDER NEXT DOOR (Texas judge requires warning signs outside homes)
James Williams, 43, was placed on probation in 1999 for sexually groping his then girlfriend's 15 year old daughter. Judge J. Manuel Banales of Corpus Christi ordered a two feet wide and 18 inches high warning sign that says DANGER in bold white letters across a background of red and Registered Sex Offender Lives Here be put up where Williams lives.
Identical signs were ordered posted at the homes of 13 other first time sex offenders who are on probation in this Gulf Coast city. Some of the 14 offenders here have been on probation for months, other for years. None was imprisoned. Under Texas's sex offender registration and community notification laws, their names, addresses, photos and criminal records have been advertised in local newspapers and are available on a state Web site. But Banales said he recently decided that ads and Web postings aren't always enough.
(Corpus Christi, Texas)