An Oklahoma-based watchdog group is calling for registered sex offenders to be kept out of nursing homes. This after the group, "A Perfect Cause" helped locate an offender in Tulsa they say had fallen off law enforcement's radar screen.
As the News on 6's Heather Lewin learned under the law, it's apparently no one's responsibilty to track him down.
Wes Bledsoe with A Perfect Cause: "We looked at the sex offender registry site and his address was listed as unknown." He is 68 year old Billy Ray McDaniel[pictured], a convicted sex offender now living at a Tulsa nursing home.
Mc Daniel was at a home in Oklahoma City, where in September of 2002, according to court documents he walked into an 89-year old woman's room and "intentionally touched the (victim's)body in a lewd and lascivious manner." Mc Daniel was convicted of sexual battery and according to state officials, because he's been diagnosed with dementia, he was moved to another home.
The group "A Perfect Cause" got involved when they began compiling a list of offenders in nursing homes, saw his record and couldn't find him. Wes Bledsoe: "Here's an aggravated registered sex offender living in Tulsa and the Tulsa PD no other law enforcement, the Department of Corrections is not aware of him and here he is living in this facility."
But it's hard to say where responsibility lies, legally it's up to offenders to notfiy police when they move. Tulsa Police officer Randy Lawmaster: "There is not anybody that regulates that comes in and says you have a sex offender that's moving here."
Wes Bledsoe says patients must be informed and shouldn't have to live with a predator in the next room. Nursing home administrators in Tulsa wouldn't comment on any specific patient but tell the News on 6, offenders are often placed in nursing homes by the court. They say until the government funds another location, there's simply no where else for these people to go.
Tulsa Police say if someone who's has served their time and is registered, needs care, legally the fact that they're a sex offender doesn't enter into the equation. Randy Lawmaster: "A nursing home is a place that's been determined for one reason or another that these people have to be at and if we don't put em there, I don't know where else we're gonna put em."