Yarmouth voters to decide on living restrictions for sex offenders

Yarmouth sex offenders

YARMOUTH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - When voters in Yarmouth go to the polls on Tuesday, they will be casting ballots on whether or not restrictions should be imposed on where sex offenders can live.

After the Yarmouth Town Council declined to set up buffer zones around schools, supporters gathered enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot. It would prohibit certain sex offenders from living within 750-feet of a school. Supporters call it a no-brainer, designed to keep children safe.

"You cannot guarantee safety, but it's a measure to keep sex offenders who have been convicted of having acts and crimes against children under the age of 14, of being near a concentration of children", said Allison Hinson.

Not everyone agrees. Andrea Elfring says it lumps all offenders, including her son, into one category.
Her son had a stroke at very young age, and was deemed emotionally and socially immature when he had consensual relations with an underage girl.
 

"You really need to know the whole story of these people before you can say they can live somewhere or not", Elfring said.

In other Maine communities that adopted similar restrictions, town councilors or selectmen approved them. It’s unusual to have voters decide the matter.

Copyright 2016 WCSH


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