A call was first made to The Record and a quick check indicated that 41-year-old Thomas S. Harp was registered with the Kentucky Sex Offender Database as living at the Cadiz address. Harp had apparently used the motel’s mailing address at 121 Nunn Blvd. as his home address.
Harp had been convicted in Tennessee for the aggravated sexual battery of a 10-year-old victim. The Tennessee database for sexual offenders indicated Hap was “violent,” having committed his offense on October 25, 1997.
Shortly following an inquiry by The Cadiz Record, Harp was arrested by Cadiz Police Major Duncan Wiggins. Wiggins said that he last knew of the suspect living on Anna Street and had not been apprised of his move.
Wiggins’ arrest report said that the suspect’s motel room sat only 741 feet from the Kreative Kampus Daycare, 565 feet from the school and 898 feet from Perdue Field, home of the Trigg County High School football field.
Wiggins said, “The real question is how a violent sexual offender can be released from prison without a supervised release.”
Cadiz Police Chief Hollis Alexander said that Kentucky Revised Statute 17.545 governed areas where convicted sex offenders are permitted to reside. It said in its first provision, “No registrant as defined in KRS 17.500 shall reside within 1,000 feet of a high school, middle school, elementary school, preschool, publicly owned playground or licensed daycare facility. The measurement shall be taken in a straight line from the nearest property line of the school to the nearest property line of the registrant’s place of residence.”
The KRS also said that registered sex offenders have the duty to determine if their residence is within 1,000 feet of the off-limits areas.
Alexander told The Record, “He was way too close to the daycare and the school.” He added that his department only receives notification of a sexual offender’s movements when the convicted offender first moves into an area. “Last we knew of him, he was on Anna Street. We weren’t notified about this.”
According to the Chief, his department does not currently have a policy in place requiring an officer to check the database on a regular basis to monitor the locations of known offenders.
“It’s something we probably need to lake a further look into,” said Alexander. “There are measures we can put in place to watch them closer, and some other safety measures we can talk to other departments about.” He added that Harp’s arrest was a relatively new situation his department faced.
Find the full story on this case, and a list of convicted sex offenders living in Trigg County in this week's Cadiz Record.