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TX: Condo Association Fighting To Keep Sex Offender Out

A battle between a sex offender in Austin and a home owner’s association could set a precedent across the state if not the country. The association’s decision to ban sex offenders is now being challenged. A sleepy little community in South Austin is fighting what could be a major case.

“I don’t know why this law firm has decided to mount a crusade in favor of pedophiles, but they have,” says Eleanor Rotthoff, a resident of Valley View Village Condominiums The condominium complex voted and amended their homeowner’s association bylaws.

The amendment basically denies residence to anyone required to register as a sex offender. Full Article (with video)

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  1. http404

    Interesting. I don’t know if anyone else recalls, but as early as about 6 or 7 years ago there were a couple developers (best recollection Texas and Georgia) who were promoting their new housing projects as “sex offender-free,” that registrants were not allowed to buy a home or live there, and all buyers would agree if they purchased a home there and were subsequently convicted of a sex related offense they would forfeit their home.

    I’m torn on this issue with respect to those private developments. I mean, if a group of people want to purchase homes and live in their own little compound and keep out certain outsiders, then that should be their right. But when everybody starts doing that, where are the “outcasts” supposed to live?

    However, the homeowners’ association featured in this article has crossed a line and I think it opens a much larger can of worms pertaining to CC&R overall as a matter of law than just the issue of banning registrants.

    • Diana

      Who gets to determine who an “outsider” is?

      • http404

        I guess I had a different example in mind as I wrote that… like the Amish who close themselves off from the contemporary world for a simpler less materialistic way of life. Or retirement communities where you must be of a certain “senior” age. There are protected classes of people whom it is not legal to discriminate against. Unfortunately, registrants are not a protected class.

    • Susan

      Eleanor Rotthoff shows her ignorance, and should be ashamed of herself, when she automatically assumes that someone labeled a “sex offender” is a pedophile. Pedophiles are actually a very small percentage of people labeled “sex offender”. Most people, who are labeled “sex offender” are actually college age kids who went out with a female who claimed she was a couple years older than she really was. THAT IS ALL IT TAKES TO BE LABELED A SEX OFFENDER. Why is this done? Because if we only labeled pedophiles, sex offenders, then each state would not get the billions of dollars of funding to create unnecessary high paying jobs with the police and sex offender boards. It’s a big business, and in order to get the funding, you have to have the numbers. This purposely creates a false sense of security, because the real pedophiles can go about their business because they get lost in the crowd. Homeowner’s associations are not concerned with the safety of anyone; they are concerned with the stigma attached to someone labeled a “sex offender” living in their neighborhood.

  2. Tired of hiding

    Sure thing, just let them try and make it a Jewish, black or ‘minority” free all white community…think that would fly? NO! But they will probably keep those with a sex offense conviction in their PAST out because “sex offenders” are the new black…so to speak!

    A so called “sex offense” is the only monitory in the USA that it is perfectly legal to step all over, deny basic services to and otherwise abuse without a second thought.

    What happened to giving someone a second chance once they have paid their dept to society, jumped through all the hops, and did everything required of them to do?

    Yep, they will probably prevail in keeping the “pervert” out of their perfect white picket fenced wonderland of wholesomeness.

  3. Brubaker

    Anyone there now in texas that can give us some more ‘on the front lines’ (so to speak) info on that matter….appreciate it someone from texas………..clearly its further punishment on the restriction ……they are proving the registry is further punishment / inciting discrimination / inciting harassment / inciting violence to people who are forced to register …… or be jailed imprisonment …………looks like extortion / blackmail………forced to incriminate yourself.

  4. Brubaker

    Force you to registry or be jailed imprisoned (coercion against your will extortion blackmail)………so as to put you in double jeopardy of punishment restrictions……..their greed to double jeopardy is the current event there in texas……..taxpayer funded registry and its used against the registered to further punishment restrictions violating the Constitution against self incrimination …..its time for BIG $$$$$ lawsuits and I want my name on those checks…!!!

  5. mch

    Too bad we’re not independently wealthy; go buy a few of their prized condos and rent them out to thugs, gangsta types and all around low lifes. That would be quite the hoot I’d say…and make sure there’s a variety of colors.

  6. tired of being scared

    My husband is a no risk level sex offender. We live in a private owned condo. The landlord know his background but accepted is to rent. We have lived here almost 4 years. The HOA board president went door to door warning everyone about him. Whatever. But a few months ago, a tier 3 offender moved in and they made his landlord kick him out after just a few days. The same time the board started putting flyers up EVERYWHERE about my husband. And I mean everywhere! They were thrown all over the complex. Even at the private pool. Even posted 10ft up in a tree. We have no idea why they started doing this and it scares me. My neighbors feel sorry for us and know he is not a monster. We work and come home. We don’t bother anyone. Legally, they cannot force us out. He has no restrictions and the police do not have to send out fliers about him as he has no risk level. Why won’t they just let us alone? We just want to live in peace. I worry about someone shooting at us or our windows. However, the his has decided to monitor the parking lot with cameras for security…. But the only thing the cameras can see is our house!

    • Tired of hiding

      I had a similar situation in Miami Florida. Some I was living in a condo and some nosy neighbor sent out letters to everyone in the building (including me) of my flyer they printed off the states wonderful registry website. Of course, they didn’t put any return address…

      Needless to say, things changed…I was avoided. People whispered and in general made my partner and I feel very unwelcome and at times threatened. We got out of there which was what they wanted and moved to California.

      Florida has nice weather but the people are bat-sh*t crazy and only getting worse!

  7. Tim

    Not too much better in California. Thought it worst living in the country, were there were a bunch of ignorant hicks. No better in the city where people are on top of each other and gated communities keep undesirable outsiders away. Arrested what seems like ages ago. Plead guilty. Psychological report says I was low risk, recommended leniency. Felt good about myself. Recognized my flaws. Got treated for depression, which I didn’t know I had. Quit alcohol. Got good reports on my offender treatment. Wanted to be open with everyone. Help those who could benefit from my experience. Naivety. Lost a good paying job with benefits, but managed to just support my family by being self employed. Threatened by someone in jail who knew of my offense. Wife couldn’t get a job as a teacher, because someone knew of my offense. In debt, because of lawyers fees, loss of job. No healthcare, but managed to keep up my treatment. At that time I was an anonymous pin on a map. If someone was concerned about me, they could go to the police department and inquire. But I would not give them any concern, because I did what was needed to not offend and get on with my life. I didn’t want to to hurt anyone, let alone my family, who took me in and suffered through the ordeal. Rebuilding a life is tough, but it gives you a sense of accomplishment. Then 9-11 and everyone was afraid. Then two high profile murders in my region and I had vigilantes parked on my street. A truck parked for two days there and scared my daughter. My name appeared in the local paper with other registrants. Now, everyone I do work for could look me up as a “sex offender”. Fliers appeared around the neighborhood. What had I done differently, I asked? I register every year, work, try to have a life. I feel responsible for what I had put my family through and wonder if it would have been better if I had left. I am not so anxious to leave the house anymore or go for a walk where I can meet a neighbor who looks the other way. I wonder if I step in this park, that library, would I be arrested? Everywhere I go I think “they know”, they see the “S” on my record. It’s as plain as my forehead. Every word, measured, every act scrutinized. My wife knows that the family is strong. Stronger than hate or fear. Even after all she’s been through. It’s not only about recidivism and rebuilding a life. It is about survival. Of sanity. Of dignity. About not letting them win. If you let them win your humanity sickens and dies. If you let them win you legitimize the Stasi, the SS, the Red Guard.

    • steve

      Wow! You pretty much summed up all of everything I have gone thru as well. Don’t let them win. I just sent my first off to college and I have two more to go I won’t give up because of them. It doesn’t matter what people think or how they look at you just continue on. I had to deal with DCFS when I went thru my ordeal and they were absolutely trying their hardest to split up our family and I hated them for it. However, the only thing they said that made ANY sense was “It’s not your words but your actions that we will take note of” I have lived by that.

  8. tired of being scared

    I have never been with anyone with a criminal background. I have never been thru this before. The hoa called his work and told them they hired a child rapist predator and that they should fire him. His work told the caller to buzz off. My husband has no restrictions and was charge with lewd conduct. He is not a predator. Someone took a wooden sign, posted it ten feet up in a tree. Someone else came along and took it down hours later and the hoa thinks I took it down. I didn’t touch it. Note they are sending a fine to our landlord. I was told today that the hoa board all voted to have us removed. I have looked up our rights as tenants and the hoa cannot legally force us out our force our landlord to evict us. Luckily the landlord is on our side. Today, another sign was put 10ft up in a tree. I can’t sleep for being scared. Why all the sudden have they started doing this to us after being here so long? The sad thing is, I feel helpless as I can’t help him. This will never ever go away for him. My only choices are too stay with him and be scared or leave him and miss him terribly. He is such a good man with 1 black cloud over him. I am so sad and scared for us both.

    • DavidLM

      They can’t force you out! Sounds like someone is raising a stink behind the scences. Living in a condo you are bound to have one out of the bunch.

      Incredible how dumb the government is as to create a system that makes three quarter’s of a million people that can and will decrease property values and create wide spread fear and panic and think its a great plan.

      I would get something legal that you can carry to protect yourself and family because law enforcement won’t usually help you with vigilantism.

    • steve

      You should get the phone record of the call from your husband’s boss and sue the crap out of that person.

  9. Brubaker

    Take pictures….make a police report at least its in file…..
    registry incites violence…incites threats…disturbs the peace….incites destruction of property ….incites others
    to crime and public safety becomes worse because of registry.

  10. Tim

    tired of being scared, I hope it works out. People who take in ex offenders, also keep them honest and give them something to live for, which studies have shown reduces crime. It saddens me that you have had the choice made so much harder by vigilantes. You should be given a medal by the Governor, for helping to keep society safe. When I came back home, my wife had me paint the front door red. In the early 1800’s the red door was a sign for escaped slaves to find safe house and a secure path to freedom. They took the risk of being punished for doing that. A lot of people then would have had no hope at all without them.

  11. tired of being scared

    Well, now the HOA have upped the stakes. My car was parked in our assigned and numbered parking spot. Someone keyed it. Since the huge yellow sign is still in the tree and we are not allowed to take it down, the culprit gets to see it, associates my car that he doesn’t drive, vandalizes it and now I get to pay for it? He is barely making any money because he cab only find lame jobs, what an I supposed to do? Throw him away? Everyone seems to get on their soap boxes and tell that WE cannot judge another. Well, they are judging and cruelly doing so. And March 1st is The day we can no longer go to the local park to bbq as SO’s are no longer allowed in because they think all of them are going to snatch kids and hurt them.

  12. Mike H

    A registered Sex offender myself, despite following the law to the letter, I have had a very hard time with jobs and finding places to live for my family. I committed my crime in 1997, a Christian and law abiding person. I no longer have to register in my conviction state but live in another that requires me to register.

    Out of the 700,000 offenders that are compliant it’s estimated 2.5% will re-offend and have the lowest Recidivism rate of all other crimes. Mandatory treatment and the registry help keep this rate low. I have helped police with other offenders and helped Children services spot a potential offender. A lot of us can actually help watch and keep a community safer.

    That being said, I still would not want my property values to go down because I have several offenders living next to me, though I am not concerned about them. Kids are not safe these days and it’s the ones that have yet to go through the system and unknown that are dangerous. We don’t know who these folks are.

    it’s a mixed issue for me, I live on both sides. Right now there are offenders everywhere and it’s getting to the point some are getting numb to it. informed people know that most are not dangerous, but what they don’t know is the few that may be. The states need to overhaul the system and remove from public (Not from registration) all but the ones that fit a dangerous profile. Someone that molested a family member is a far different type of offender than someone that abducted a child from a park.

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