A registered sex offender from Michigan who just got out of jail for having sex with a teenager is stirring things up in an Edgewood neighborhood. William Begley has been locked up on sex charges for most of the last 18 years.
Local 12 News Reporter Joe Webb found out today that Begley is living a block away from President's Park and a half block from Saint Pius School. Kentucky prohibits sex offenders from living within a 1,000 feet of a school or playground. But....Begley isn't breaking that law.
Outside a nice house on a nice street in a nice neighborhood, William Begley was busy today tearing out an old sidewalk. For the last two weeks he's lived right across the street from Saint Pius School-just a block away from the swing sets and slides in President's Park. He's been quiet and no problem. but hardly unnoticed. Chief Tony Kramer of Edgewood Police says, "We've had probably 6 residents of the community who've either called or stopped in to discuss the fact we've got a registered sex offender living here in the city in close proximity to a playground and a school."
Begley has to register as a sex offender for life. He went to jail twice for criminal sexual conduct in Michigan. He just got out of jail on August 24th. His last conviction was more than 10 years ago.
Here's the rub for the concerned neighbors. Kentucky's restrictions on where sex offenders can live went into effect in 2006. "There is a Kentucky Supreme Court ruling that states that this particular law can't be constitutionally enforced on anybody who is convicted of their crime prior to 2006."
It's the Ipso Facto clause. Neighbors say it's a crock. Kat Maifeld told Joe Webb, "It seems like he's being grandfathered in to some kind of a law that is protecting him more than all of us and we have concerns because there's about 13 kids that live just at this end of Lawrence Drive."
Everyone says Begley has been quiet and low-key. He spoke to us off-camera today and said he only wants a fresh start. It appears he will get that in Edgewood. Jason Reed is the Assistant Kenton County Attorney "Certainly no criminal charges based on the mere fact that he lives there. No criminal charges would be appropriate. They need to be vigilant. They need to keep a careful eye as they hopefully would at any point to make sure he's behaving himself."
Begley told us today, he has done his time and paid his debt to society. He admitted he has made mistakes and said he has paid for them. In his words, "Let everyone know the big bad wolf don't live here. They ain't got nothing to worry about."
William Begley served out his time in Michigan so he is not on probation or parole. He is a free man.
More information on Begley is available on the Kentucky
sex offender websites.