LANCASTER, Ohio – Four registered sex offenders ordered to move because they live within 1,000 feet of schools have decided to challenge that state law in court.
Virgil E. Larson Jr., Darren L. Coey, William E. Rudd and Jerry L. Groves have not complied with a May relocation order from the prosecutor in this city about 30 miles southeast of Columbus.
City Prosecutor Terre Vandervoort asked Fairfield County Common Pleas Court in July to order the men to move, and the cases were consolidated Monday before Judge Chris Martin. A court date hasn't been set.
The men will be represented by the Ohio Justice & Policy Center in Cincinnati. Attorney David Singleton said the nonprofit firm believes there are state and federal constitutional questions with Ohio's law covering where sex offenders can't live.
Three other registered sex offenders who received the relocation order from the prosecutor chose to move.
The city law director's office used satellite mapping to identify where sex offenders lived and the distances from their homes to schools.
"We had people complaining to our office that there were sex offenders living too close to schools," assistant city Prosecutor Randall Ullom said.