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Sex Offender

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WSVN -- A South Florida woman lives next door to a sex offender and wants to move. Does she have to tell a potential buyer about her neighbor? The answer in tonight's Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

In South Florida where people move from home to home, Cecile Krinski is an original.

Cecile Krinski: "We built the home in 1985 and lived here ever since. It's a wonderful neighborhood, wonderful area to be."

A neighborhood, filled with families and then a man moved in that Cecile says didn't fit in.

Cecile Krinski: "The man that moved in was a registered sex offender with a sex offense from New York."

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement website shows the man was convicted in New York in 1992 of having sex with a minor.

According to that state's criminal records, it was a 13-year-old girl.

Cecile Krinski: "I was instantly scared. I was scared for myself, for my family, for the neighbors that have children."

Cecile is a therapist, she immediately warned her neighbors with kids.

Cecile Krinski: "I did let people know that there was a sex offender living here, to protect themselves and their children so that they would know."

Cecile says the convicted sex offender was not happy.

Cecile Krinski: "Yes, there was retaliation. There were threats made. He made it very inconvenient for me to get around."

One day the man came out waving a gun. According to Broward Court records he was arrested since a convicted felon can't possess a firearm.

Cecile has had enough. She is considering selling her house and has a question.

Cecile Krinski: "When I go to sell do I disclose what the situation is? Do I disclose it to the realtor? Do I disclose it to the other realtor perhaps for a potential buyer?"

Cecile is a good person and says even if she doesn't have to reveal it, if a family with kids wanted to buy her house she would feel obligated to let them know.

Cecile Krinski: "My feeling would is, I would feel I'm setting them up. I would have very strong feelings that I wouldn't want that to happen."

Well Howard a sex offender lives in your neighborhood, if you sell or rent your home, are you required to disclose it?

Howard Finkelstein: "No. You are required to disclose what the law calls latent defects in your property, such as a leaky roof. The law does not require you to disclose problems in the neighborhood, such as sex offenders living nearby."

Just out of curiosity we checked FDLE's records to see how many convicted felons live near some of us, it was surprising.

Thirteen sex offenders live within a mile of Cecile's home, 155 sexual offenders live within five miles of Howard's house, 351 live within five miles of my house.

If you want to know who lives in your neighborhood the FDLE link is on your website and if you are selling your house and want to know what you do and don't have to disclose you can visit: http://offender.fdle.state.fl.us/offender/homepage.do;jsessionid=p75ixRsf7y1z2yMEIPto4A__

Howard Finkelstein: "Be aware that there is so much information available today thru the internet. You can find out how much your neighbor paid for their house, how much they pay in property taxes, where they have any liens or mortgages or even if they have a criminal record. It's all there on the internet and in most cases, it's free."

After seeing we all live near sex offenders, Cecile isn't sure if she will put her house up for sale, but if she does, she is certain where she will move next.

Cecile Krinski: "Somewhere around the beach, where it's quiet, where sex offenders aren't allowed because it's close to a school or a bus stop, and where we can just live peacefully have what we use to have here."

Now this weekend, Cecile called us worried about retaliation from the sex offender. We have contacted the police, they told us they are going to keep an eye on her house, plus she has a no contact order against him already. Meaning he can't come near her, call her, contact her at all. Howard says if he does, he is going to jail maybe for a long time.

And if you want to see if any sex offenders live near you or check to see what you do and don't have to disclose when you sell a house or condo you can visit: http://offender.fdle.state.fl.us/offender/homepage.do;jsessionid=p75ixRsf7y1z2yMEIPto4A_

CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:
E-mail: helpmehoward@wsvn.com (please include your contact phone number when e-mailing)
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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