Eagle County gets few details on sex predator | VailDaily.com

Eagle County gets few details on sex predator

Steve Lynn
Vail, CO Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” Tamara Toppling wants to learn more about a “sexually violent predator” that could live in her community soon.

“Any safety issues are going to be important for everybody,” said Toppling, who lives in Edwards.

A sexually violent predator who will live somewhere in Eagle County will be released from the Eagle County jail Wednesday, authorities said. Residents should attend community meetings in Vail or Eagle for more information, the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office said.

The label of sexually violent predator means there is a “high probability” that the sex offender will commit another sex crime, the Sheriff’s Office said.

“Through the series of testing and assessments, he has been noted to have those risks,” Blackard said.

At the meetings, a flier with a color photo of the man, along with his physical description and address will be given to residents, said Detective Tamra Blackard of the Sheriff’s Office.

If a sexually violent predator is going to live in a community, local authorities have to hold a meeting to tell residents about the person, according to Colorado law.

“We as a community need to step up and educate ourselves,” Blackard said.

That a sexually violent predator may live in Eagle County makes Dave Dunn nervous, he said.

“It’s just scary overall to think there are people out there that can do things like that,” said Dunn, who lives in Vail.

Authorities do not know exactly where the sexually violent predator is going to live yet, Blackard said.

Most sexually violent predators are sentenced to lengthy prison terms, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. Some are released on probation or parole following their time in prison and mental health treatment.

Blackard declined to release the name of the sexually violent predator, but will do so at the meeting, Blackard said.

“We’re choosing not to at this point in time,” she said.

Matthew Cull, of Vail, said his opinion on the sexually violent predator depends on the crime the man committed and the man’s mental state when he is released from jail.

“If they’re releasing him back into the public, surely he must be OK,” Cull said.

Blackard declined to reveal what sex crime the man has committed and other details, saying those would be released at the community meetings.

The more normal the man’s life, such as having a home and a job, the less likely he is to commit another sex crime, she said. The man might re-offend, leave the county or fail to report to authorities if people “harass” and “intimidate” him, she said.

“There’s no cure obviously, but we need to manage him,” she said.

The sexually violent predator won’t be allowed to go where children are likely to be, such as a toy section at Wal-Mart, a recreation center or a school, she said.

Forty-three registered sex offenders live in the county and 15 of those people have been convicted of a felony sex crime, Blackard said.

Authorities are not required to hold a community meeting about those sex offenders, but Blackard said she has information about individual sex offenders that she can share with people at the Sheriff’s Office in Eagle, she said.

Toppling said she plans to go to the Vail meeting about the sexually violent predator. She has a five-year-old son who’s going to June Creek Elementary School soon.

“I’ll have to go with him,” she said. “I wouldn’t think of letting him walk or ride his bike in this day and age.”

– For more information about where sex offenders with felony convictions live in Eagle County, go to http://sor.state.co.us/.

– Go to http://www.eaglecounty.us/sheriff/sexoffendersearch.cfm for a map of where sex offenders with felony and misdemeanor convictions live in Eagle County.

Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 748-2931 or slynn@vaildaily.com.

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