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Published: Friday, 7/15/2005

City seeks to force sex offender out of house

BY ROBIN ERB
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The city of Toledo took its first court action yesterday to force a registered sex offender living within 1,000 feet of a school to move.

Eugene Parra, 46, of 4219 Garden Park Rd. was convicted in 1986 of raping a girl.

He spent six years in prison and was classified as a sexually oriented offender.

Since that time, he has followed the rules to register with the local sheriff once a year or whenever he moves, according to the Lucas County sheriff's office.

This spring, Parra purchased a two-story home within 1,000 feet of Longfellow Elementary School, 4112 Jackman Rd. near Garden Park Road.

But a new state law empowers city law directors and county prosecutors, among others, to seek a judge's order that would force sex offenders living within 1,000 feet of a school to move.

The law is being challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union and by the Cincinnati-based Prison Reform Advocacy Center.

Nevertheless, the city of Toledo yesterday sought a permanent injunction that would force Parra to move and prohibit him from relocating within 1,000 feet of any other school.

"We have an obligation to the public to enforce the laws of the state of Ohio," said Samuel Nugent, an attorney with Toledo's law department. "We'd be remiss in our responsibilities if we didn't follow through."

It may just be the first of many such requests.

About 245 of Lucas County's more than 600 registered sex offenders live within 1,000 feet of a school in the city of Toledo, said city prosecutor John Madigan.

Parra, taking a minute from fixing dinner at his home last night, said he was surprised at the court filing.

He said he called the Lucas County prosecutor's office in May to inquire about the 1,000-foot rule and how it might impact his living at the two-story home he and his wife were considering buying.

"Before we put in an offer, we called the prosecutor's office," he said, adding that he spoke to a woman whose name he doesn't remember.

"I asked about the distance, and she said 'What school?' She kept me on the line for a minute and then she said, 'You should be OK,' " he said.

Parra said he'll fight the injunction request. He noted that he has served his sentence and successfully completed parole and counseling.

He found a job in construction, got married earlier this year, and purchased his first home.

"I expect to be left alone," he said.

Contact Robin Erb at:

robinerb@theblade.com

or 419-724-6133.



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