Kent tells 10 group homes: Move out sex offenders or face fines

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KENT — It’s an ultimatum that could put 70 sex offenders back on the streets. The city of Kent is threatening to shut down 10 group homes that are breaking city code.

sohousingBut most of the sex offenders are not budging, saying they have no where else to live.  Each group homes faces a $500 fine per day starting in September and Kent’s mayor says the city will fight it out in court if they have to.

It’s the 6th largest city in Washington and in Kent more than 300 sex offenders now live in the city.

“These guys need a place to stay,” said group home manager Eddie Weber.

Weber manages six of the 10 homes the city is trying to shut down. His properties have been operating for years as clean and sober homes. Once the city realized multiple sex offenders were living together, the eviction notices went out in May.

“The existence of group homes housing sex offenders is illegal,” said Kent Mayor Suzette Cooke.

“The Department of Corrections knows they are here, everyone who came here had to be approved to be here so we are trying to follow the rules,” said Weber.

Weber says he oversees 50 sex offenders who have nowhere to go but the streets, including many level 3 sex offenders who say a stable home keeps them in line.

“I would say so yes because here I have structure,” said one sex offender.

“Everybody has availability of apartments or other living situations where they could go to,” said Cooke.

“The idea that it’s easy for these people to find housing is ludicrous,” said Weber.

Some residents can empathize but says it’s still scary to know that as many as 10 sex offenders are living under one roof in some cases.

“I have two little kids so it’s a concern,” said Kent resident Felicia Tanner.

It’s so much of a concern that Tanner often uses an app on her cell phone often to track sex offenders.

But at least one neighbor is defending the group homes saying the city should leave them alone as long as the sex offenders are behaving.  “If neighbors are comfortable with it why would anybody else care about it.”

The city of Kent not only cares but is now threatening legal action.

“Five hundred dollars a day or going to King County Superior court taking them to court on it,” said Cooke.

Weber says he is not budging.

“For now until I don’t have any ground to stand on,” said Weber.

Weber also says that because many of his sex offenders are going through rehab they have a legal right to stay in his program.

His next step is to try to get the feds involved. Until then he will face $3000 a day starting in September because he says the sex offenders will be more dangerous if they are forced into the streets.

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    I guess folks in Kent will feel MUCH safer if they know those sex offenders are out roaming the streets, instead of living in a safe group home under supervision. The citizens of Kent should be calling the mayor demanding that those group homes stay open.

  • Dave

    We need a new constitution, sex offenders should lose their citizenship and be deported. If no country wants them we will find one. Maybe we give Somalia $10,000 per head to take them, it would be worth it. No more Mr. nice guy, America is on the ropes.

    • FRegTerrorists

      What we need is for people like yourself who are clearly not Americans to get out of our country. YOU need to find a country where you fit in better. I'm tired of these non-stop harassing, nanny, big governments. I've had enough of them. You apparently want more big government. Here's an idea – start paying for it.

    • Justice for ALL

      Spoken like a truly clueless son who has been spoon fed garbage from politicians and the media. So let me get this straight… aree all FOR destabilization for sex offenders that are GETTING TREATMENT, but you don't want them in the country? Sheesh, grow some brains why don't you! If you seriously think that they are such a threat (and they aren't, the 95% of ALL offenders NEVER commit another sex offense, FACT!). Then why are you condoning them to be forced into homelessness and barred treatment which would only serve to INCREASE reoffense rates? Get a clue!

  • FRegTerrorists

    Anyone had enough of big government yet? Anyone had enough of people who feel like they should be controlling everything? Messing with everything? And nearly always making a bigger mess.

    The City of Kent is a criminal regime that can't be sued often enough.