Rebecca Staiger could not sleep for days after learning that a lifetime sex offender was living in the house two doors from her Treesdale home.
She, her husband Carl and their Treesdale neighbors addressed the Pine Board of Supervisors at Monday's meeting about the situation and asked for an ordinance to prevent it from happening again.
The man listed on the Megan's Law website as living at South Lake Drive in Gibsonia has since been moved to the Allegheny County Jail, according to court documents. He lived in the house for less than three weeks, neighbors said.
"It's unsettling. It's unbelievable," said Staiger, who added that the man was living in the garage of a vacant home located beside a park and in between two school bus stops.
Township Solicitor Gary Gushard said he would research laws from other municipalities and draft an ordinance for the supervisors to consider at their Dec. 5 meeting.
A law enacted by Allegheny County to limit where sex offenders can live was struck down in May by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
Supervisors Chairman Michael Dennehy said there was no question the members of the board wanted to get something on the books to allay residents' fears, but needed to make sure such an ordinance was legal.
"We all feel for your concerns; we all have kids," said Supervisor Philip D. Henry.
Greg Bosiljevac said his home is directly across the street from where the sex offender was living.
The man told Bosiljevac that he was down on his luck, had lost his house on a short sale, and had made some bad choices in his life.
"He was sleeping in the garage on an air mattress," said Bosiljevac, who aimed his spotlights on the man's house. "I was watching him like a hawk."
The man pleaded guilty in June to four felony counts: indecent assault on a person younger than 13, unlawful contact with a minor/sexual offense, endangering the welfare of children, and child pornography. The man also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of indecent assault of a person younger than 13, indecent exposure, and corruption of minors.
Chief T. Robert Amann said, "We went to the residence and checked into it."
Police saw no sign of a person living in the house, he said. After checking with a real estate company, police found that the man's sister owns the house and gave him permission to stay there, said Amann.
Although patrols checked the house, they did not find him at the house at any time, he added.
Community notification takes place only in two instances, according to the Megan's Law website:
- if the convicted sex offender is determined by a court to be a sexually violent predator, or
- if an out-of-state offender is required to submit to community notification in his or her state of origin.
"Pennsylvania’s Megan’s Law does not restrict where a sexual offender or sexually violent predator may reside," the website states. "However, an offender may be restricted from residing near a school, park, daycare center ..."