A sex-offender from Canada considered a high-risk is currently staying just a block from a daycare center in downtown Seattle, and officials say there's nothing they can do to stop him.
Michael Sean Stanley registered as a sex offender with the King County Sheriff's Office last week. He fled Canada after cutting off his electronic monitoring bracelet and disappearing Oct. 1.
Stanley was the subject of a widespread search after crossing into Washington state. Even though he was under supervision for committing a number of sex offenses against women and children, border officials could not stop him because he is a U.S. citizen without any pending charges in the United States.
He was located in downtown Seattle and voluntarily registered as a sex offender, where he was given a level 2 designation, rather than the more serious level 3 designation given offenders considered to have a high risk to re-offend. Police could not arrest him because he has not committed a known offense since entering the U.S.
Despite some criticisms, Sgt. Cindi West with the King County Sheriff's Office says the level 2 designation is the highest allowed since Stanley has not committed a sexual offense in Washington State and Canada has yet to provide any documentation that would warrant a level 3 designation.
"It's a gray area," West says. "Without having the documentation from Canada the most he can be classified at is a level 2 because he is homeless."
West says it could take up to a month to get the documentation and make a determination whether Stanley qualifies for level 3 status.
As for Stanley living near a day care, authorities cannot restrict sex offenders from living near a school or day care unless they are being monitored by the Department of Corrections and have specific restrictions dictating where they can live.
"We're certainly going to do what the law requires us to do," West says. Stanley is required to check in weekly at the King County Courthouse.
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