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Neighbors upset sex offender lives nearby Olathe school

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Stephen Peters, 45, is a convicted sex offender. He was convicted for possessing child pornography back in May and registered with the local authorities. Stephen Peters, 45, is a convicted sex offender. He was convicted for possessing child pornography back in May and registered with the local authorities.
OLATHE, KS (KCTV) -

Some Olathe neighbors are upset with the state of Kansas. They want stricter laws on where sex offenders can live.

Residents near 123rd and South Iowa streets discovered that a man who was convicted for having child pornography lives in the area, just 1,100 feet from an elementary school and called KCTV5 to investigate.

However, what is more upsetting to them is learning that the state does not put mandates on where convicted sex offenders can live. Neighbors says that needs to change.

Stephen Peters, 45, is a convicted sex offender. He was convicted for possessing child pornography back in May and registered with the local authorities.

But he was allowed to stay in a home at West 123rd Court.

"I think it is horrible. I think it leaves the kids unprotected," Danae Shinski said.

Shinski and her husband live just across the street from Ravenwood Elementary. She frequently checks the sex offender website but says the state should mandate where they live.

"I believe so. It is just safe. It keeps the neighbors safe, it keeps the kids safe," she said.

Spokesman Jeremy Barclay for the Kansas Department of Corrections said there is a requirement for residency in each individual case they manage.

Barclay said that those laws can have a negative effect, as in Iowa where many sex offenders went underground after mandates were put on where they could live.

Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe agrees.

"Some of those states where you have restrictions where they live, then you got them huddled up in one area and that becomes a problem for that particular area," Howe said.

That is why he stands behind the online sex offender registry.

"Kansas has taken the approach of 'it's better to know where those individuals are' so the public can be informed and make choices and protect their loved ones, but as far as putting restrictions on 'you can't live within 1000 feet of a school,' they've chosen not to take those steps," Howe said.

In Missouri, certain sex offenders cannot live within 1,000 feet of a school or childcare facility.

To check to see if there is a registered sex offender in your neighborhood, click here for Missouri and click here for Kansas.

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