Sex offenders’ photo update deadline looms


Kemp

ROCKINGHAM —Registered sex offenders in Richmond County have just a few more weeks to have their photos updated.

Detective Mike Childers with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is currently in the process of making sure all of the registrants’ photos are updated “so they have a current picture online” for the state registry.

He said 57 — about half — of the county’s registrants have been photographed so far. The rest have until the end of the month.

If any registrants fail to come in before July 1, Childers said deputies will be checking to find out why they haven’t been compliant.

RECENT ARREST

A local sex offender recently caught another felony charge — for something police say he didn’t do.

Police arrested 29-year-old Jordan Andrew Kemp on June 10 for failing to register his Walnut Avenue address with the sheriff’s office, according to a magistrate’s order.

The N.C. Sex Offender Registry shows Kemp’s address was verified on May 8 as 158 Lances Run in Hamlet.

Childers said sex offenders have three to 10 days to give notification of an address change.

“We recommend they let us know within three days,” he said. “After 10 days, by law we have a right to charge them.”

Kemp was charged with failure to register as a sex offender and jailed under a $10,000 secured bond. He is scheduled to appear in court July 9.

He served one year behind bars after he was convicted in Gaston County on two counts of taking indecent liberties with a child in 2010, according to the registry.

At the time of the incident, May 14, 2010, Kemp was 24 years old. However, there is no age reported for the victim.

His minimum registration period is listed as 10 years.

Online court records show Kemp is facing charges of traffic infractions, including having no operator’s license, in Union County.

Prior to his 2010 conviction, Kemp was found guilty the previous year on felony charges of breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering and larceny of more than $1,000, according to records with the N.C. Department of Public Safety Division of Adult Correction. He served 3½ months for those crimes.

SEX OFFENDER STATS

According to the N.C. Sex Offender registry, there are 119 people convicted of sex crimes living in Richmond County. That number is slightly higher than Vance (99) and Stokes (87) counties, which are closest to Richmond in terms of population.

A map of registered sex offenders shows there are eight in East Rockingham, two in Dobbins Heights, 17 in and around Hamlet and 11 in Rockingham. Two of the men in Hamlet share the same address. Norman is the only area in Richmond County without any.

Childers said law prohibits registrants from being within 1,000 feet of a school or day care.

While most of those registered are men, there are three women registered as sex offenders in the county — two were convicted of taking indecent liberties with a minor and one of abduction of children.

Richmond is also higher than the surrounding counties of Scotland (91), Moore (94), Montgomery (38) and Anson (55.)

The highest populated counties have the largest concentration of registered sex offenders in the state: Mecklenburg (898), Guilford (761), Wake (633), Cumberland (513) and Forsyth (501.)

The state’s smallest counties, Tyrrell and Hyde, have the least amount of offenders — eight and 10, respectively.

The registry shows there are currently 2,260 offenders incarcerated and 4,234 are out of state.

According to national statistics, North Carolina has the 12th-highest number of registered sex offenders in the U.S., with 20,356.

Texas and California lead the nation with more than 80,000 registrants in each state.

KEEPING TABS

Childers’ job is to follow up with registered sex offenders, making sure they live where they say the live and make sure all of their photos and information are up to date.

“Sometimes I find out they haven’t been there in months,” he said.

He took over the duties in March following the retirement of Capt. Wendell Sessoms.

Two weeks ago, Childers said he went out from 9-11 p.m. to check on a few registrants who seemed questionable.

“They were where they’re supposed to be,” he said.

Last month, the sheriff’s office conducted a compliance check with help from the U.S. Marshals Service, the local marshals’ Joint Fugitive Task Force and the N.C. Department of Public Safety’s probation and parole division.

All but five of Richmond County’s then-118 registered sex offenders were home during the operation.

One man, 40-year-old Timothy Eugene Sweatt, was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon for allegedly having a 20-gauge shotgun.

Marshals said the purpose of the operation was to physically confirm that the registrants were living at the address listed at the sex offender registry and to update information required by law.

Reach reporter William R. Toler at 910-817-2675 and follow him on Twitter @William_r_Toler.

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