Recently released cop will have to move

SANDUSKY Sex offender James G. Fitzpatrick has to move. Fitzpatrick, a former Sandusk
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

SANDUSKY

Sex offender James G. Fitzpatrick has to move.

Fitzpatrick, a former Sandusky police officer who was released from prison Thursday, lives in the 600 block of Decatur St. -- less than one block from St. Mary Central Catholic High School and Jackson Junior High.

Since 2005, Ohio law has prohibited sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school, according to Capt. Steven Westcott at the Erie County Sheriff's office.

The local county prosecutor is responsible for notifying the offender to change their residence, Westcott said.

If they don't move within 30 days, violators can be evicted by the prosecutor.

"Legislators don't want sex offenders close to children," Westcott said.

A county computer program is used to determine if offenders are too close to schools.

"There's no doubt about him," Westcott said citing the closest school, Jackson Junior High.

Released sex offenders must also register with the Electronic Sex Offender Registration and Notification system, also known as eSORN. It can be utilized by citizens to notify them when a sex offender moves near their homes. The tracking system is linked to all 88 county sheriff's offices in Ohio and 32 correctional facilities.

Fitzpatrick is serving five years probation after spending 11 months in prison for four counts of criminal sex acts against a minor.

Fitzpatrick worked as an officer from 1992 to 2005, during which time he met a 15-year-old girl in a cop-ride along program.

A lawsuit filed by the victim is still open. Depositions in the case are scheduled for June 22 and include former Sandusky police Chief Robert Runner, and detectives Helen Prosowski and Mark Volz.

Fitzpatrick declined to comment Thursday when the Register went to his home. Calls to his attorney Tim Dempsey were not returned either.