Missouri bill focuses on sex offender home-buyers - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Missouri bill focuses on sex offender home-buyers

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MONROE CITY, Mo. (WGEM) -

Should you be notified if a sex offender moves in next door? Missouri lawmakers are talking about requiring realtors to warn sellers and neighbors when a sex offender is a prospective home buyer.

Sex offenders would first have to inform the real estate agent of their offenses. Then it's up to the agent to inform the public.

And, some home-owners and agents say they don't agree with how the measures would be enforced.

"I can find out on my own if there's a sex offender. So, as me as a parent, that's my job. I don't need the government forcing someone else to do more on their job that I'm supposed to be doing anyway," said Monroe City Father John Quinn.

Quinn, father of 5, says he already keeps up with registered sex offenders in his area and says that's not a real estate agent's job.

"Now your making the real estate agent's liable," said Quinn.

And, that's exactly how Realtor Debbie Kendrick feels.

"Asking us to rely on a sex offender to tell us the truth as to whether or not they're on the register, that's a crap-shoot," said Kendrick.

Kendrick, who is not only a real estate agent, but also a grandmother, thinks about the what if's.

What if she sold a house to a registered sex offender and that person re-offended?

"Emotional, personal guilt to deal with," said Kendrick. "And, then you throw a law on it where someone could sue us because we didn't do that."

Kendrick adds, "Unless the laws in our state allow us to know the level of infraction by the sex offender it will be difficult for us as realtors to take on that responsibility of being accountable for someone else's actions."

The Missouri Association of Realtors says it has concerns about the proposal.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Charlie Davis said he is not pushing for it to become law this year. He says he's just trying to spark discussion about protecting children.

For more information about sex offenders in your state:

In Missouri:http://www.mshp.dps.mo.gov/CJ38/search.jsp

In Iowa:http://www.iowasexoffender.com/

In Illinois:http://www.isp.state.il.us/sor/sor.cfm

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