Twelve high-risk sex offenders live in Fulton County
Twelve high-risk sex offenders currently reside in Fulton County, according to Deputy Kevin Burns, Fulton County sex offender coordinator, who is working on putting together a map of where sex offenders reside in the county.
Burns said the public needs to be informed about the offenders, who are level 3 and level 4 sex offenders.
The lone level 4 offender, John Robert Green, 70, of Viola was recently sentenced to a year in the Arkansas Department of Correction for failure to register. Green is considered a sexually violent predator who disclosed in an interview that he had a deviant sexual interest in pre-pubescent females and that he has had between 25-50 victims in which formal charges were never filed.
"We believe the only person who wins if the community notification ends is the sex offender, since they derive their power through secrecy," Burns said.
The Fulton County Sheriff's Office has no legal authority to direct where a sexual offender lives. Unless court-ordered restrictions exist, the offenders are constitutionally free to live wherever they choose.
"Sex offenders have always lived in our communities, but it wasn't until the passage of the Sex and Child Offender Registration Act that law enforcement even knew where they were living. In many cases, law enforcement is now able to share the information with the public," Burns said.
This information cannot be used to threaten, intimidate or harass registered sex offenders, and abuse by citizens will not be tolerated and could potentially end law enforcement's ability to provide community notification, he said.
The Fulton County Sheriff's Office released the information pursuant to section 13 of Act 989 of 1997, the Sex and Child Offender Registration and the Community Notification Guidelines promulgated by the Commission of Abuse, which authorizes law enforcement agencies to inform the public of sexual offenders' records.
Mammoth Spring has the highest number of registered sex offenders in Fulton County. The four offenders are Marshall Armstead, 35, Dale Koelling, 54, Ricky Foster, 46, and John Fuller, 47. All are level 3.
Three registered level 3 sex offenders live in Salem. They are Carnie Sokol, 52, Jerry Hatman, 63, and Ronnie Branscum, 38.
Viola has two sex offenders, Green and level 3 sex offender Kenneth Hamilton, 28.
Elizabeth, Hardy and Cherokee Village each have one registered level 3 sex offender. They are Jesse Baney, 22, of Hardy, Donald Cheeseman, 62, of Elizabeth, and Richard Schwartzentrub, 72, of Cherokee Village.
For information on lower level sex offenders the public can contact Burns at the Fulton County Sheriff's Office, 870-895-2601. Information on sex offenders statewide is available on the Arkansas Criminal Information Web site at www. acic.org.
A map showing the locations of sex offenders in the county will be available soon, Burns said.
According to the Arkansas Department of Correction a level 1 sex offender is considered low risk and usually has no prior history of sexual acting out or strong antisocial tendencies, sexual compulsions or psychological factors impairing his judgment.
A level 2 sex offender is a moderate risk. The department states that these individuals have a limited or circumscribed prior history of sexual acting out and possess antisocial traits, predatory tendencies or deviant sexual interest or behavioral patterns that increase their level of risk. They may have mild or well-controlled mental disorders.
The department states that a level 3 sex offender usually has a history of repeat sexual offending and/or strong antisocial, violent or predatory personality characteristics. Sexual compulsions are likely to be present but may be kept under control when relapse prevention plans are followed and treatment is continued. The offense patterns of these individuals reflect a high possibility of re-offense and/or risk of substantial injury to victims should re-offense occur.
Level 4 is considered a sexually violent predator. They are considered to be individuals with impaired judgment or control who have sexual or violent compulsions they lack the ability to control. This may be due to pedophilia or other disorders of sexual attraction, mental illness or personality disorders that distort thinking and interfere with behavioral control, and predisposes the person to acts of predatory sexual violence.
Those who refuse assessments, try to conceal or lie about their history will be classified as "high risk," according to the Department of Correction.