A Cedar Rapids woman has dramatic evidence of one of the faults in the state’s system of tracking sex offenders. In 1996, when Amber Smith was 13 years old, she was sexually abused by Jason Mittan. Mittan was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Until this past Sunday, Amber’s family thought Mittan was still behind bars, but a check of the state’s Sex Offender Offender Registry shows he is now living two blocks from Amber’s home. She talked with K-C-R-G television about the situation. “This man who raped me, almost killed me, is right down the street,” Amber said, as tears rolled down her cheeks. Twenty-six-year-old Jason Mittan lives with his grandmother just two blocks from where Amber Smith lives. Mittan told a reporter for the TV station that he took abuse classes while in prison and was released early and does not have to check in with a parole officer. Amber’s mother, Renee Smith, says a couple of years ago, law enforcement officials stopped giving the family updates on Mittan, and they were never notified that he lived so close to Amber. “When we went to court, they said they would notify us of where he was at, where he was located and everything,” Renee Smith said. Amber Smith says she’s frustrated that lawmakers didn’t get serious about fixing the Sex Offender Registry until the death of 10-year-old Jetseta Gage, the Cedar Rapids girl who died last month, allegedly at the hands of a convicted sex offender. “It’s pretty sad that it has to come down to a little girl getting kidnapped, getting molested and then getting killed,” Smith said. “Now they’re worried about sex offenders? They weren’t worried when it happened to me.” Smith may move to a different part of Cedar Rapids to get away from the man who abused her 10 years ago.
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