I-Team: Bill Discussed to Limit Where Sex Offenders Live - 8 News NOW

Investigative Reporter Colleen McCarty and Photojournalist Kyle Zuelke

I-Team: Bill Discussed to Limit Where Sex Offenders Live

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State lawmakers are now considering a bill to tighten residency restrictions to ensure an predator's address doesn't cause his victim to relive the crime.

When we first met "Michelle," not her real name, nearly a year ago, the rape survivor candidly shared her story, "I remember crying every day -- not sleeping."

But not her identity. She told the I-Team she worried how people would react if they knew she'd been raped at the age of four. Not anymore.

"Hello, my name is Desiree Caldwell. I am the victim in this case."

During a sparsely attended legislative hearing, Desiree stepped out of the shadows hoping to shine light on a bill to prevent convicted sex offenders from living within a thousand feet of their victims.

Her attacker, Roscoe Kennedy, moved next door to her grandmother, "Anytime that I come over there, I have to face him looking at me, laughing at me, and it's scary to just be over there."

The I-Team confronted Kennedy last July, but instead of an explanation, Kennedy denied his conviction, his prison time, and even his name, preferring instead to pretend his past hasn't come back to haunt him or his victim.

"I'm living this whole thing all over again when I go to my grandmother's house," said Caldwell.

Desiree knows that's unlikely to change. The bill, if passed, will only affect ex-cons on supervision. Other than his requirement to register as a sex offender, Kennedy has no oversight.

"I have grandchildren and great-grandchildren and I'm afraid to let them go out in the yard or play," said Desiree's Grandmother Barbara Caldwell.

Like Desiree, her grandmother relives the rape by virtue of her address. But technically Desiree doesn't live with her, so the bill will not apply.

Yet instead of being discouraged, both women left the hearing empowered by the chance to speak for those who may not yet have summoned their own voice.

"There's other victims out there that may be going through the same thing that I'm going through, and if it can help anyone besides me -- I just want to get help for me and others," said Desiree.

The Assembly Committee on Corrections, Parole and Probation took no action on the bill. It received support from law enforcement and opposition from the American Civil Liberties Union.

It will likely pass out of committee with an amendment allowing the Department of Parole and Probation some discretion in certain cases.

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