The Village Where Half the Population are Sex Offenders
06 Aug, 2013
Miracle Village lies deep in a sea of green. This is sugar cane country, south Florida. At the edge of the everglades, and over two miles from the nearest town, around 200 people live in the small, neat bungalows.
More than 100 of them are registered sex offenders – people who were found guilty, and have usually served a prison sentence, for a sex crime. There is one woman, the rest are men. Some of them viewed child pornography, or molested their own children.
Others abused minors when they were in positions of power – there is a teacher here, a pastor, a sports coach. There are those who have been to prison for exposing themselves. A number of residents were convicted because they had sex with underage girlfriends.
Under Florida’s state law none of them can live within 1,000 feet of a school, day care centre, park or playground. Cities and counties have extended those restrictions up to 2,500 feet – about half a mile. And in some places swimming pools, bus stops and libraries are out of bounds too. The effect has been to push sex offenders out of densely populated areas.read more