Sex Offenders in Yakima, Near You

Sex Offenders in Yakima, Near You
Convicted sex offenders live among us, in our neighborhoods, near our schools and churches -- and they're allowed to live right next door to you and nothing stops them from moving in.

"I have to be 500 feet away from schools...I'm not allowed to be around anybody under the age of 18 without supervision," said David Endres, but he said he's not a monster.

"I'm actually a good person," said Endres. He claims he made some mistakes when he was younger and that led him to where he is now. "I made some mistakes when I was a kid, and I'm being punished for them."

Endres must register his address for the rest of his life. He's a level three sex offender -- the highest in the state of Washington. It means the state believes he'll likely strike again.

Endres read off a list of rules he must follow throughout his probation. Many feel somewhat safe about the rules imposed on sex offenders like Endres, but others feel weary about the system.

"We don't have any restrictions for people who are not on supervision we cannot tell them where they can live," said Det. Perry Skipton of the Yakima Police Department, which means when a sex offender gets off probation he or she is allowed to live anywhere.

Mike Kolentes, principal of Adams Elementary in Yakima, posts pictures of sex offenders who live near his school.

"They'll come up to me and say Mr. Kolentes, 'I saw that man down the block or on my way home,'" said Kolentes.

As of the beginning of February, there were two dozen sex offenders within a ten mile radius of Adams Elementary.

The sex offender living nearest the school: a man convicted for raping a child. He lives on the same block as the elementary school, where there's also a park and a middle school.

"Doesn't make me feel too great," said one parent told about the sex offender. "I wish that they would take them people and put them somewhere else not so close to the schools."

"There isn't any evidence whatsoever that people, sex offenders, living near a school are any kind of threat or danger," said Skipton.

He also said he knows Yakima's 600 registered sex offenders.

"My job is to track leveled sex offenders in the city," he said. "I do go knock on their door, I make sure they're living where they're registered."

There is a web site that allows people to see if a sex offender moves in next door, but police don't give out the person's exact address.

"People have broken into my house quite a bit when they found out who I am, and where I live," Endres said, and he adds he knows his house was broken into because he was a sex offender. "Yeah, I know it was, they tagged all over my walls, 'sex offender.'"

New laws say sex offenders must check in with the sheriff's office every 90 days. Transients must check in every week.

"We just don't have a problem with sex offenders jumping out of the bushes and taking our children - that just does not happen," Skipton said.

There's a three percent chance for sex offenders to commit another sex crime. Whenever a high risk offender moves to Yakima, school's notify parents by mail. Certain sex offenders must stay away from schools.

Those convicted of serious sex crimes since July of 2005 must stay a full 800 feet away from schools after their release from prison.