neighborhood handyman is a supposedly reformed predator
December 2, 2010 1:56 PM Subscribe
Should I tell my neighbors that their landscaper/handyman is a violent sex offender?
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! to human relations (79 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Back in 2001, my city made national headlines when the mayor and goofball sheriff very publicly harassed a man who had done time for two separate sex offenses in Michigan and subsequently moved here. The nature of his crimes (he raped two women in front of their colleauges during a restaurant robbery, served 10 years, got out and tried to drag a 10-year-old girl into his car, got 10 more years) pretty much guaranteed that he wasn't going to be welcome anywhere. He moved around a bit, houses he stayed in were vandalized, people picketed, and police and media hounded him. After a few years, however, the hubbub died down and he has apparently lived a relatively quiet life in a mobile home just outside of town.
Fast forward to the present -- My wife and I have lived in our current neighborhood for about 6 years. There are several women of varying ages on our street (from retirees to young professionals) who live alone. A few years ago, one of them hired a handyman, and he began spending lots of time on our street. Eventually, other neighbors started hiring him too, as he is apparently conscientious and does good work. Our neighbor directly accross the street is having him do extensive adaptations to her yard, to be followed by work on her HVAC system. During a conversation with her, she told me his name, which was the same as the aforementioned rapist's.
Two days ago, I happened to ride up on my bike as he was working, so went to say hello. To my dismay, he was, indeed, the same creepy face that appears on the sex offender registry.
While I privately believe that violent sex offenders are probably uncurable and should be jailed for eternity in horrible dank dungeons, I do ascribe to our nation's theories regarding crime, law and punishment, and he has done his time. In other words, do I like him spending so much time hanging out on my kid-friendly street? No. But does he have the right to be there? Absolutely. Does he have a right to earn a living move on with his life? I guess so.
What I'm wondering is: given his past, should I tell my neighbor accross the street, a near-retirement psychologist who we like very much and talk to frequently? Does she have a right to know this about a man who has keys to her house? Or am I just being a typical nosy NIMBY? What would you do?