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Inez woman faces tall task to get sex-offender law changed

By By Brian M. Cuaron - BCUARON@VICAD.COM
Sept. 26, 2011 at 4:26 a.m.


OTHER COURT ACTION

Passed a redistricting plan. The U.S. Department of Justice has 60 days to pre-clear the plan once it is received. sent to them by Allison, Bass & Associates, the law firm hired by the county for redistricting.

Authorized a stop sign for Turkey Road at the Chuckar Road intersection. Precinct 3 Commissioner Gary Burns said the installation was for safety reasons.

An Inez woman's advocacy for a sex-offender ordinance hit another road block Monday.

Sonya Luna requested the Victoria County Commissioners Court pass an ordinance keeping sex offenders 1,000 feet away from schools and day cares. She pointed to a similar ordinance passed in Goliad and Cuero.

Luna has three autistic children who attend Torres Elementary School.

There are 191 sex offenders in the county, according to the Department of Public Safety.

County Judge Don Pozzi told Luna that the court was aware of her effort to get such an ordinance passed. But, the court doesn't have the authority to pass an ordinance unless a state statue allows a county to do so.

Pozzi said the court was looking into whether there was such a statue, but doubted the court would have the authority to pass the ordinance Luna wanted.

Pozzi said that the court would do anything it could to protect children.

Luna visited the Victoria City Council last week to request the same ordinance. She had visited council once before on the issue.

City Attorney Thomas Gwosdz recommended against passing the ordinance.

If too many restrictions are placed on where sex offenders could live, they could be driven out of town, Gwosdz said. So some sex offenders won't register.

Gwosdz also questioned the constitutionality of such laws.

However, Luna said Monday in an interview that she and her children didn't do anything wrong. She said such an ordinance would actually help sex offenders because the temptation would be farther away from them.

"We're putting a candy bar in front of a diabetic by putting a child in front of a pedophile," Luna told the council last week.

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