Some tenants at a Canton apartment complex said they weren’t notified that nine registered sex offenders were living in the building – and some of them are staff members.
According to the public sex offender registry, The Orchardview Apartment complex in Canton is home to nine registered sex offenders.
Five of those offenders are Level III felony offenders. Two are considered habitual offenders.
According to tenants, some of those offenders are members of the managing and maintenance staff.
“It was never disclosed,” said the parent of one tenant, who wished to hide her identity.
According to the Stark County Sheriff’s Department, notices are sent out to neighbors within a 1,100-foot radius of the homes of Level III felony offenders.
But those notices only go out once every two years. So some tenants missed the last notification.
“I was shocked,” a tenant said. "You know, this is someone that holds keys to the building and all of the units.”
According to a public information officer with the sheriff’s department, there is also no law requiring that complexes disclose sex offender information at the time a lease is signed.
Canton’s building department was not aware of any ordinance that would prohibit a Level III sex offender from managing or being on staff at an apartment complex.
Deputy Dave Emory, who heads the sex offender registry division for the sheriff’s department, said he is aware of the high volume of registered offenders living in the complex.
He said there are no residential restrictions placed on registered offenders other than being more than 1,000 feet from a school or a licensed daycare.
According to Ohio law, nearby residents must be notified when a registered sex offender moves into a new area.
But some tenants argue that the notifications should come much more frequently.
“They're released from jail, they do their time, they have to live somewhere,” one tenant said. “But there has to be some sort of system of protection to protect the general public.”
The apartment manager returned newsnet5.com’s request for comment after this story aired.
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He said that he’s made an effort to verbally notify residents about the number of sex offenders in the building.
There is no signage or notification form provided upon moving in.
He said that members of the maintenance and managing staff do not enter apartments without 24 hours notice or in the case of a fire or gas emergency.
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