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Child porn convict ordered not to hang around schools, but is allowed to live next to one

April 12, 2019 06:55 PM

MARION, N.Y. (WHEC)- See if this makes sense to you. 
   
When a man convicted of possessing child pornography was released from prison, his federal probation rules said he couldn't hang out within 100 feet of schools and playgrounds. But we found out the same probation office allowed him to live across the street from an elementary school. 

Renny Graham is back in jail, accused of violating the terms of his release for the second time in a year. But before he got arrested last weekend for public lewdness, he could look out his front door and see into the classrooms of children. 

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Federal court papers say Graham spent more than four years in federal prison for possessing child porn. When he got out he moved into a home on Main Street in Marion, Wayne County. 

The house is directly across the street from the Marion Elementary School. 

Dawn Blackburn has two children in the school. 

Dawn Blackburn, parent: "I believe if he's not in custody that he has rights as well. But I think they should be in a place that is not near little children."

In his condition of supervision filed last November, Graham had to "live in a place approved by the probation officer." But he was also ordered "not to loiter within 100 feet of school yards, playgrounds, arcades" and places used by children. 

So how could federal probation order that and still let him live across from a school? 

I called the federal probation office in Buffalo. In an email, Chief Probation Officer Anthony San Giacomo wrote "the language "Loitering" was not meant to be synonymous with "live" or "reside". This condition gives our department the authority to restrict and respond if one of our offender's is hanging around a school, playground, etc." 

Officer San Giacomo also wrote New York State law does not allow probation to say where a sex offender can and cannot live. 

I paced the distance from Graham's side of Main Street to the school property. It was 16 paces. That's just under 50 feet. 

Graham was ordered not to loiter within 100 feet of a school. 

Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean: "Should he be living across the street from a school?"

Sheriff Barry Virts, Wayne County Sheriff: "Common sense would say no as a level one sex offender or whatever level sex offender you are." 

Barry Virts is the Wayne County Sheriff. His deputies arrested Graham last Saturday in Swift's Landing Park in Palmyra for exposing himself to another man. Sheriff Virts also said there's no law to stop someone like Graham, a level one sex offender, from living near a school. 

Sheriff Barry Virts, Wayne County Sheriff: I would hope now that he's violated the terms and conditions of federal probation that they would add that section in there that he can't live near a school or children. And hopefully will protect our community going forward.

Sheriff Virts had to address the Marion Town Board last fall after Graham got arrested for violating his release the first time. 

News10NBC is going to follow Graham's case in federal court to see what his restrictions are when he gets out this time. 

If you live in Wayne County there's a tool to be able to track registered sex offenders, even Level 1 offenders. 

Click here to reach Offender Watch. 
 

Credits

Berkeley Brean

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