H-SANTA MARIA

May 2, 2013 10:16 PM by April Hansen, KSBY News

Police track sex offenders living locally

We have heard a lot about sexually violent predator Tibor Karsai who was released last month as a transient in Santa Barbara County.

Karsai was convicted of sexually assaulting two teens. He now lives in a motor home where two guards watch him around the clock. He also wears a GPS monitor, has a 9 p.m. curfew, and has to check in with the Sheriff's Office once a month.

Besides Karsai, there are hundreds of other sex offenders living on the Central Coast. In fact, there are more than 200 registered sex offenders who live in Santa Maria alone; however, Karsai is the only one in the area who has also been designated a sexually violent predator.

California was the first state to pass a sex offender registration law. Those offenders have to check in with their local police department once a year and let police know every time they move.

We spoke with a Santa Maria Police detective whose job is to track the sex offenders who live in that city.

Detective Jose Deleija looks after more than 200 sex offenders. A 2011 city ordinance helps to track them and restrict where they stay.

"Because now the new registrants are in such a smaller area it's easier for me to check up on them," said Detective Deleija.

That ordinance clarified Jessica's Law, which doesn't allow registered sex offenders to live within 2,000 feet of a park or a school.

He checks up on offenders every day and says most haven't reoffended, but the detective makes sure they follow the registration law, so the public is safe.

"There's always a concern with families and kids," said Detective Deleija.

If you want to find how which offenders live in your neighborhood, all it takes is a quick search.

"It's a major offense that is going to have a lifetime of scarring for the victims and that's the reason why I follow up on them because they will be registering for life," said Detective Deleija.

When we checked online, we found more than 750 sex offenders who live in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, but not every registered sex offender is listed on the Megan's Law website. Their information is given out to the public based on the type of sex crime they committed.

Click here to check out the Megan's Law website.

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