Brandon residents question sex offender law - FOX 13 News

Brandon residents question sex offender law

Posted: Updated:
BRANDON (FOX 13) -

A sex offender living next door, And a neighborhood where homeowners say they're now forced to live like they're in prison.

It's all happening in Brandon and they called our investigative reporter for help.

But as Doug Smith explains, the law is not on their side.

And that doesn't sit well with the residents.

"Our whole way of life has to change because of one person," says Sheryl Hickle, who lives right next door.

A half dozen neighbors gathered in front of her home one day last month to talk about their concerns and options.

"I think it's a bad environment for him too. He's got all kinds of kids around if he were to be a re-offender," says neighbor Richard Eklund.

"We don't want him here, but we don't know what we are supposed to do or what we can do," says Hickle.

Records show Lewis admitted to investigators that he sexually battered two children under the age of 12 back in 1993 and spent time in a Florida state prison.

He's been in and out of custody ever since for various parole violations, mostly drug related.

Having spent a total of more than 17 years behind bars, he got out just last month.

A state review board determined he does not meet the criteria of a sexually violent predator, so the only restriction is that Lewis must register as a sex offender. He's free to live wherever he wants.

Neighbors say he's living with relatives.

According to FDLE, there is nothing they can do at this point.

We spotted Lewis walking a few dogs down Arrowhead Lane one day and asked him a few questions.

"They don't need to worry about anything from me," Lewis said.

He then turned and walked away.

"I feel like it's not fair that 70 plus homes have to change the way they live now because of one person," says Hickle.

But neighbors changing their ways is the only option for now - because the law is not changing anytime soon.

*******

Look up a sex offender: http://offender.fdle.state.fl.us/offender/Search.jsp

Safety tips from FDLE: http://offender.fdle.state.fl.us/offender/Safety.jsp

 

Powered by WorldNow

FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
3213 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33609
Main: (813) 876-1313
Newsroom: (813) 870-9630
Fax: (813) 871-3135

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices