A convicted sex offender has been arrested because he was told to move and didn’t. Linn County authorities went to every offender on the local list to tell those who live within two-thousand feet of a school or daycare center that because of a newly-implemented law, they had to move. A 23-year-old Marion man failed to comply.
Nick Maybanks, an assistant in the Linn County attorney’s office, says that man — Justin Bruce — was arrested on Monday. The charge is “violation of sex-offender residency restrictions.” He’s the first in the county charged with that offense. The charge, which is an aggravated misdemeanor, carries a penalty of up to two years in prison and a five-hundred-dollar fine.
Bruce was given a 30-day notice in which to move, told he was currently in violation and given the opportunity to move but failed to do so. Bruce made his initial court appearance this (Tuesday) morning and got a court date set for later this month. Before then the county attorney’s will file papers officially charging him with violating sex-offender restrictions. Bond is set at 65-hundred dollars and it’s likely Bruce will remain in the Linn County jail awaiting his next court appearance.
Maybanks says local authorities are taking a serious approach to enforcing the new law and all the other offenders who were notified have moved outside the limit from a school or daycare as the new law requires. Maybanks says they’re measuring the distance “as the crow flies” and Bruce wasn’t exactly “just down the street” from a school or daycare. Others were given similar notification and Maybanks says they got some guidance. There’s a map, available on-line through the Linn County sheriff’s website, that shows the restricted zones in the county.
You can look at it on-line, or go down to the sheriff’s office yourself. Bruce could have used it to find where he could still legally reside in the county to be in compliance with the new law. Maybanks says “There’s plenty of places that are left, although they seem to be shrinking in number as cities begin to pass ordinances, too.”