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FL shaming: Could your real estate agent be a sex offender? You likely would never know

[ – 3/2/19]

Maureen Stilwell had a bad feeling about the property manager in her Wellington neighborhood.

He didn’t fit in well with the close-knit community. Folks didn’t like him, said Stilwell, who was on the board of her homeowner’s association at the time.

Stilwell did a little digging. She quickly discovered that her community property manager was a registered sex offender.

“I was amazed it came right up on Google,” she said. “I emailed the rest of the board and said, ‘We have to get rid of this guy now.’”

The man they fired has been a registered sex offender since 2007. He pleaded no contest to possession of child pornography in exchange for avoiding felony charges and a potential five-year prison sentence.

While registered sex offenders in Palm Beach County are forbidden for life from residing within 1,000 feet of a school, park or playground, they are allowed to work as real estate agents, property managers and some other licensed professionals. And, with the exception of some jobs involving close contact with children, they are not required to disclose their status as sex offenders to co-workers or clients.

No list of where sex offenders work

County, state and federal governments, as well as some non-profits, publish maps that show where sex criminals live. But there is no public database that shows where they work — a point some experts say may seem troublesome but does not necessarily put the public at greater risk of assault.

In the case of property managers and real estate agents like Stilwell’s, those who become registered sex offenders after being issued a license must report the crime to the licensing board or risk disciplinary action.

But some might be reluctant to self-report because of public stigma or the threat of losing their licenses.

Read more


Join the discussion

  1. AnonInCali

    from the BJS study of May 2019 cited in the article:
    APPENDIX TABLE 22 – Types of offenses for which male prisoners were arrested WITHIN 9 YEARS following release in 30 states in 2005, by most serious commitment offense

    This table seems to be the most relevant and clear.
    The highlights of the table I find most important are these:
    Of a total of 2,644,000 post-release arrests, Only 79,320 or 3.0%, of those originally arrested, imprisoned and released for a sex offense, were rearrested in the following 9 years for any reason. Of those 3.0% 15.6% were for another sex offense. Here’s a more complete breakdown:
    Over the 9-year period of the study (remember, these numbers reflect arrest totals of the entire 9 years)
    Of the total of 12,000 rearrests for sex offenses in 9 years, 1870 or 15.6% were by previous sex offenders, who are a subset of violent offenders(who accounted for 40% of all sex offense rearrests),
    3300 or 27.5% were by previous property crime offenders,
    2376 or 19.8% were by previous drug offenders and
    1440 or 12% were by previous “public order” offenders (see the definitions within the study if you like).
    Compare this to the total number of sex crime arrests and you can see that released sex offenders make up only a tiny portion,
    1870 out of the approximately 1,100,000 total rape arrests in the same 9 year period, 135,755 just in 2017, according to this table:
    Regarding the “only 30 states had valid data” part, the 30 states that were included have a little over 3/4 of the national population.
    The other tables are so messed up with the caveat of multiple charges that the percentages don’t add up to anything meaningful, but also makes the numbers visually more shocking, which is I’m sure the aim of the publishers. The bottom line shows up in this table.

    We should be more worried about those who were originally arrested for property crimes, right?

    • Tim

      Optics are far more important to the governed than facts or truth. Machiavelli – The little Prince.
      The houses in the state of Michigan need a laxative supply- to get s-&t rolling.

    • TS


      Thanks for the stat breakdown. Nice work there and conclusion. We should be worried as you conclude, but as @Tim said, optics is what gets attention, not reality of the truth.

  2. Eric

    Wow, with Maureen Stilwell around we can just get rid of the jury system. She can just tell the judge who she feels uncomfortable with and then lock ’em up. Actually I was incarcerated with a man who had the same offense as I, a CP offense. We have kept in touch in the years following our incarceration. He has gone on to be a very notable person in the real estate industry. He has won several awards. He frequently posts on FB posing next to very happy people who he was able to get into their first home. He was a very savvy guy. He got out, and a company gave him a chance and he has excelled. I always put a little smiley face emo on his posts just letting him know I am watching and smiling on how well he has done after the government took everything from him, beat him down as low as they could, and locked him away for five years, only to get out and have to content with neurotic, self-righteous, finger pointers like Maureen Stilwell. Maureen would do well to learn the little life saying that the person you are focusing on is probably not the one dong anything, and the person you least expect is probably the one that is that is up to something.

  3. C


    I would likely never care.

  4. NorthEastPENN

    Honestly the one thing about this article that stands out the most in my mind is the length of the article – which really does not tell why a s$x offender should not be a real estate agent. Why shouldn’t a convicted drug dealer be a real estate agent – “what if” you hand over the keys to your home to this type of person and they start dealing drugs from your house or store drugs in your house. “What if” the real estate agent served time for theft and they start stealing this and that from your home?

    That’s all this article is about – “What If” – and the only reason why anyone would bother to read this article is because the title included the words “S$x Offender”.

    –Could your real estate agent be a sex offender? You likely would never know–
    Change to
    –Could your neighbor have been convicted of DUI three times? You likely would never know —
    but you let your child ride with them and their child in their car, to school, the mall, to sporting events, etc.

  5. AC

    *sighs, with smack on head*

    I don’t deny there may be insensitive jerk-wad professionsals on our planet; that’s not going away. There will always be those property supervisors that we simply don’t care to deal with; just like there is one staffing member at my transitional housing that I, as well as the rest of the housing, just can’t find one reason to like.

    That’s one thing.

    Explaining away with such resolution that a jerk is disliked because he’s a SEX OFFENDER, however, is quite another. It’s irritating: it’s almost as if people don’t have a better reason to explain why certain individuals are disliked.

  6. AC

    “Two-thirds of sex offenders are arrested a second time within nine years of their prison release, a May 2019 report by the U.S. Department of Justice says.”

    …Once again….

    Which parent doesn’t love passing on fairytales that his/her mommies and daddies told him or her when he or she was a kid? =)

    • American Detained in America

      If that’s true, it’s probably because the near impossible to follow parole terms that can even allow someone to be arrested simply for being honest if the parole officers don’t like the answer. I was threatened with getting a violation and harassed for hours simply for saying that a 60-70 re-offense rate was incorrect during a group “therapy” session. I was threatened multiple times with getting arrested for a violation if I tried to see my own child or even talk to my child on the phone, or even if I had my wife tell my child I love them. I was threatened with arrest more times than I could count because the GPS unit would lose contact with the satellite, because a grocery store I happened to use had a park behind it(I didn’t even know the park was there), because someone had seen me coming out of my vehicle in the morning(slept in it under parole instructions and where they told me to be) and called in to complain, and just because I happened to run into someone else with a GPS in a store I went to.

      In California, we can’t even get a real estate license. I wish we could, I wanted to do that and was told it wouldn’t happen.

  7. Mike G

    My wife and I attended a seminar a few years ago about getting a Real Estate License. The presenter said something to the effect “If you have much more than a parking ticket on your record, you won’t get a license in California.” My wife went ahead and got her license. I didn’t bother to try.

    I am happy to read success stories such as the ones above, but I would be shocked to learn of any RCs with licenses in California, though if there are any, I hope they have great success and don’t get caught!

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