The words convicted and registered sex offender can have different meanings to everyone. Anthony E. Mann, convicted of exposing himself to a couple of minors while on a business trip in North Carolina in 2002, pleads guilty, and receives a sentence of five years probation. This simple act has labeled Mann a convicted sex offender, which requires him by law to register as a sex offender. This means he must tell law enforcement whenever and wherever he moves, for the rest of his life.
After his conviction, Anthony E. Mann and his wife were careful to research the Hampton neighborhood where they would buy their house. The Mannís wanted to be sure that Anthony would not be violating any part of the sex offender lawís in Georgia. The law states sex offenders may not work or live within 1,000 feet of schools, playgrounds or day cares.
Mann owns partnership in a BBQ in Lovejoy, Georgia. Both, life and business was going along smoothly. Then recently law enforcement told him he was violating Georgiaís Sex Offenderís Law, and he would have to leave both his home and business. Remember the law states a convicted and registered sex offender cannot live or work within 1,000 feet of a day care.
His home found in Hampton, Georgia was now less than a thousand feet from the ďKuz Weíre KidzĒ in-home day care opened by Renae Harris only months after the Mannís moved into their home. The BBQ Mann owns half of in Lovejoy, Georgia, is next to a day care called "Imagination Station". Another day care which moved into the neighborhood after Anthony Mann bought the business. Well, Anthony E. Mann is not packing up his boxes and calling a moving van, not yet. Mann has decided that he will fight for his right to continue to live in the house that he and his wife have made their home. The house that was their home before the day care opened less than 1,000 feet away.
The law was in place before the Mannís moved into the neighborhood, and the Mannís were aware of the law. The Mannís were also careful to make sure they did not buy a home anywhere near a school, playground or day care. When they did find a suitable home, they moved in and settled down and began to rebuild their life. Then their dream of being a homeowner shattered when a day care opened in the neighborhood.
Suddenly, Mann is in violation of the law that he was so careful to put up with, not once, but twice, when the same thing happened at Mannís BBQ. The law needs to work both ways. When planning for a school, day care or playground the owners need to check the National Sex Offender Registry before deciding on a location. Instead of impinging on the 1,000 feet radius of a registered sex offender and demanding they move later.
Anthony E. Mann is on his way to the Georgia State Supreme Court to find out if he will have to abandon both his home and business and start life over a third time. Anthony Mann does not deserve eviction, based on the fact both businesses opened after he moved into the area.
If someone living within 1,000 feet of a school, day care or playground commits a sex crime, the law should make the person leave for the safety of the children. If a sex offender moves into a house within 1,000 feet of a day care, school or playground the law should make the sex offender leave. Schools, daycares and playgrounds need to be accountable for the safety of children before deciding the location, not only after. This is like moving out to the country and expecting the wildlife not to wander into your front yard, how hypocritical.
As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse this author does not defend the actions of any registered sex offender. However, everyone has rights and everyone has responsibilities. Simply because someone made a mistake in the past does not give the law and other people the right to trample over that personís rights for the rest of the personís life.
Until next time, I am sending angels to those in need of them the most our missing and exploited children. Angels above you, angels below you and angels all around you until all are safely home again.
Disclaimer: When checking for sex offenders please remember more than one person can carry the same name. There are many Anthony Mann's in this world and not all of them are registered sex offenders. Please never jump to conclusions in these situations.