Hillsborough County sexual predator on the loose, tracking Jesse Haley (video)

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Normal Hillsborough County sexual predator on the loose, tracking Jesse Haley (video)

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:29 pm

Charisse Van Horn, Tampa Crime Examiner
August 26, 2011 - Like this? Subscribe to get instant updates.

On August 26, 2011, ABC Action News reporter Alison Morrow posted a feature titled, “Detective Kat Poynter’s job entails meeting Hillsborough County’s sex offenders every day.” The article also focused on Hillsborough County’s sexual predators that are on the loose. According to the report, 28-year-old Jesse Haley removed his ankle bracelet, left the home he shared in Plant City with his father (who is also a registered sex offender) and is on the run.

He isn’t the only one.

A close look at the FDLE Florida Sexual Offenders and Predators database features a list of absconded sex offenders. The list doesn’t represent all of Florida’s missing sexual predators either. For many new to Tampa Bay and Hillsborough, Pinellas and Polk Counties, a close look at sex offenders in surrounding zip codes brings a startling reality of just how many sexual offenders and predators are among us. Keeping in mind that the database only includes those who have been reported, arrested and convicted and doesn’t include those predators still on the street and the sobering realization of how many sexual predators are living in our communities may be overwhelming.

Kat Poynter stated in her interview with Morrow that when a child goes missing, she visits the homes of sex offenders on her lengthy list. But what about those who have fled and are on the run and in hiding, those like Jesse Haley who was convicted of molesting a child victim between the ages of 12 and 18?

It was an unregistered, untracked but convicted sex offender living in Homosassa, Florida, John Couey, who crept into the Lunsford home on February 24, 2005 then abducted, raped and buried the precious nine-year-old girl alive. Mark Lunsford, turning trauma and tragedy into action, pursued stricter regulations on sex offenders through the Jessica Lunsford Act (Jessica’s Law).

The tragic case of Amanda Brown is another heartbreaking story of how losing track of sex offenders poses deadly consequences to the safety of Tampa’s children. In 1984, Willie Crain had confessed to molesting five young girls; he was convicted of child rape and sentenced to 20 years in prison but only served seven. Amanda Brown disappeared on September 11, 1998; after her mother, unknowingly struck up a relationship with the convicted child rapist. Her body was never found and authorities believe she was discarded in Tampa Bay like feed for fish by the crabber. Again, lax regulation, laws and control over sex offenders cost the life of a beautiful 7-year-old girl.

Keeping track of sexual offenders and predators is hard work and thanks to detectives like Kat Poynter, many of us can sleep better at night knowing that many offenders are being tracked. It’s those who have escaped, are on the run or have yet to be caught that pose greater threats. Those like Jesse Haley and Chad Reynolds (who was an early suspect in the Haleigh Cummings disappearance as he absconded at approximately the same time as her disappearance), that leaves our city vulnerable to their depraved sexual appetites.

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