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How sex offenders are able to live in hotels and motels in your neighborhood

Posted at 8:25 PM, May 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-04 04:59:02-04

TULSA -- With Vacation season around the corner 2 Works for You found some interesting information on who can actually stay, or even live in hotels and motels around children and families. 

“I’d probably notify my community, I’d probably notify anybody that I knew living there," said South Tulsa mother Sarah Paulson. 

Paulson lives with her young daughter and said like many people before moving into their home she checked sex offender regestries. 

“I don’t want my child to be a victim of something like that," she said. 

But like many people she said she doesn't check before staying in hotels or motels. 

“If there’s a hotel or motel that is not within a safe zone and management allows them to live there then they can live there," said Sgt. John Adams with the Tulsa Police Department. 

By law if a hotel or motel is not within 2,000 feet of a school or park, which is called a safe zone, they can register that hotel or motel's address as their permanent home in the system. 

“Ask the management do you allow sex offenders to stay here? That would be a good question to ask," Sgt. Adams said. 

Police say there are four motels in Tulsa where sex offenders can legally live, so 2 Works for You paid a visit to each one to see if they were aware of the law and the people living in their buildings. 

The manager at the Motel 6 on North Garnett asked the photographer to turn off his camera. 

He gave this statement over the phone: 

"They don't let us know when they check-in, but it's not something we can do background checks on. There's many walks among us when it comes to sex offenders, but it's not something management actively looks for. We try to keep security and residents in the safest position possible. So when I find out they live here we keep a special lookout for kids and families."

He said they're not looking to house sex offenders, but it just ended up that way, and he doesn't want to be associated with it.

He emphasized that security and protecting guests is of  the upmost importance.

A desk person at America's Best Value Inn also on North Garnett said they don't mind it because it's business. 

“As long as they don’t create any problems. We actually haven’t had any bad experiences so far in the past 2 years," they said. 

He said if it started to hurt business that would be different. 

The Super 11 Inn on East 11th Street also not thinking much of it. “If they are allowed to stay I cannot refuse.”

But the desk person at the Extended Stay Inn and Suites on East 41st Street defended them. 

“Unless you knew that they were, you would never know," they said. "“If they register and the police come and check on them, they’re doing something right."

"To the best of my knowledge I don't have any sex offenders staying here," said Manager Krupa Desai of Extended Stay Inn and Suites.

Mirroring what police said. 

“I’m not concerned with them living in a motel because we know where they’re at," said Sgt. Adams. 

He said it's not the 14 sex offenders they have on record living in these places or the 450 throughout the city, but the 10 to 15 a week they catch who aren't registered. 

“We would have more compliance if there weren’t so many restrictions on where you could live," said Tulsa County Chief Public Defender Robert Nigh.

He said the living restrictions are too much. 

“You ought to give the man a place to live. Especially if he’s already paid his penalty for the crime he committed or she committed.”

But Sarah Paulson said when it comes to the safety of her daughter she's not willing to risk it.

“I think everybody deserves a second chance, but I’d rather be safe than sorry."

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