Sex offender fails to move or register new address

SANDUSKY The Erie County prosecutors filed a civil lawsuit against convicted sex offender James Fitz
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010



The Erie County prosecutors filed a civil lawsuit against convicted sex offender James Fitzpatrick on Wednesday for failure to abide by sex offender laws.

Fitzpatrick, 40, still lives in his home in the 600 block of Decatur St. next to the Jackson Junior High School parking lot. On Wednesday, his son answered the door and said his father wasn't home at the moment. A "For Sale" sign was stuck in the yard.

Fitzpatrick has directed all comments to his attorney Tim Dempsey. The Register visited Dempsey Wednesday at his office where he declined to comment for Fitzpatrick.

By law, sex offenders in Ohio cannot live within 1,000 feet from any school premises and register with the local sheriff's office.

After being released early from prison May 17, Fitzpatrick was given 30 days to move and register a new residence. His deadline was Tuesday.

Fitzpatrick has still not registered a new residence, according to Capt. Steven Westcott at the Erie County Sheriff's office.

The lawsuit, filed in Erie County Common Pleas Court, states that Fitzpatrick's address "is located within 1,000 feet of school premises, specifically Jackson Junior High School, serving children in eighth grade and St. Mary's Central Catholic serving children in kindergarten through 12th grade."

In June 2006, Fitzpatrick was convicted of four counts of criminal sex acts against a minor. He is now serving five years probation after spending 11 months in prison. Fitzpatrick worked as a Sandusky police officer from 1992 to 2005, during which time he met the 15-year-old girl in a cop ride-along program.

Because this is a child-victim-oriented offense, Fitzpatrick is not exempt from registering under Ohio law, according to lawsuit documents.

As a sexually-oriented offender, Fitzpatrick is required to register for the next 10 years.