Sex offender caught living across from elementary school

Published On: Jan 22 2014 12:17:18 AM EST
Updated On: Jan 22 2014 12:19:47 AM EST

A local community is taking action after learning a sex offender that is living across from an elementary school does not have to comply with the new ordinance that forces sex offenders father away from schools.

ORLANDO, Fla. -

A local city is taking action after learning a sex offender is living across the street from an elementary school. The problem for parents is that a new ordinance that forces offenders farther away from schools, churches and parks doesn't apply to convicted sex offender Howard Porter, who lives across the street from Sugarmill Elementary in Port Orange.

City council members unanimously passed an emergency ordnance to make sure convicted sex offenders can't live within 2,500 feet of schools, parks, and churches in the city.

“People may have a legal right to live somewhere, but I have the legal right not to like it,” said city council member Don Burnette.

“What's going to happen to the kids across the school? Its not right,” said Christina Herring, who lives near the school.

But the new ordinance wouldn't affect Porter, who was convicted of child pornography in 2004, before the state law went into effect. It prevents sex offenders from living 1,000 feet from a school.

“Predator? I'm not after any kids,” said Porter. “Adding more restrictions is not going to help the problem.”

Some parents said the fight isn't over.

“He wants to live where the kids are. As parents, we have to choose how to remove the cancer from our city,” said Samantha Elledge.

Porter said he plans to stay put for now.

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