Neighbors set meeting about sex-offender neighbors

A group of Ashland residents who are concerned about three sex offenders living in a home on Nevada Street have organized a meeting at nearby Helman Elementary School to discuss the issue.

The three male sex offenders living at the home in the 300 block of West Nevada Street are in compliance with the law and are not considered predatory offenders, said Sgt. Warren Hensman of the Ashland Police Department, whose beat includes the neighborhood. Police are not aware of anything unlawful occurring in the neighborhood because of the presence of the three men, and Hensman said he considers the area safe.

Still, some of the neighbors — including several with children — feel uncomfortable living near convicted sex offenders, they said.

"It's a nightmare," said Lisa Rand, who is helping to organize the meeting. "The house is right down the street from an elementary school and this neighborhood is crammed full of kids. It freaks me out."

The neighborhood meeting will be from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Aug. 2 in the Helman library, 705 Helman St. Hensman and Ashland police Lt. Corey Falls will attend to answer questions.

The owner of the home where the sex offenders are living, Eugene Haag, said he also plans to attend. Haag, a regional chaplain for the Oregon Department of Corrections, said he rents rooms to sex offenders to help them rehabilitate their lives.

Because the three men aren't considered predatory sex offenders, their names do not appear on the state's public registry online and police are not required to notify neighbors when the men reside in the area.

— Ashland Daily Tidings

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