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Pasco sex offender allowed to live near school

Posted: 5:07 PM, Jan 06, 2016
Updated: 2016-01-06 22:07:14Z

Christina Probeyahn is signed up to get email alerts when a sex offender moves anywhere near her Trinity home.

“It’s happened a few times in the last couple of months. But this is the first time that it's actually happened directly in our neighborhood,” said the mother of five.

Just a few houses away, Michael Johnson is now living in a rental. 

In 2000, Johnson was found guilty of attempted sexual conduct with a child between 13 and 15 years old.

“You are appalled at first because you think you live in a neighborhood next to a school, next to a playground and that it’s not allowed,” said Probeyahn.

Trinity Oaks Elementary is less than a mile from Johnson’s house. A playground is even closer.

But Johnson is not in violation of a recently passed county ordinance that is supposed to keep sex offenders from living within 2,500 feet of where children congregate.

His offenses don’t qualify because they took place prior to 2010 and were out of state.

Sgt. Zak Arey said the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office will be keeping tabs on Johnson as they do with all of the 841 registered sex offenders in the county.

“We have three detectives that are assigned full time, doing nothing but monitoring sexual offenders. They do random checks every quarter. And keep a very close eye on their activity,” Arey said.

Christina and her neighbors have been sharing Johnson’s picture on the neighborhood Facebook page, so everyone knows he’s around.

She’s also had a talk with her children.

“Makes me uncomfortable. I’ve already showed my 13-year-old a picture of this man, and he walks to and from school occasionally. I’ve asked him to stay clear just to be safe,” she said.

On behalf of another sex offender, a Tampa attorney recently filed a suit against the county saying it’s impossible for his client to live anywhere in Pasco County because of the restrictions.

But Pasco County officials are standing behind the ordinance, releasing this statement:

The County adopted this ordinance in April and this is the first attempt to challenge to the Ordinance.

The Pasco Ordinance is modeled on those commonly-adopted in other jurisdictions, and those Ordinances have been upheld as Constitutional when challenged in Florida Courts. The Court in this case declined to grant an emergency stay against enforcement of Pasco County’s Ordinance, requiring the attorney to schedule a hearing on his motion sometime in 2016.

 The County Attorney’s Office believes our ordinance balances the rights of those convicted of sexual offenses with the County’s effort to keep our citizens safe.

 If you want to receive sex offender alerts, register at https://www.floridaoffenderalert.com