§ 15-11. Sexual offenders.  


Latest version.
  • This section shall be known as and may be cited as the Lake Wales Sexual Offenders Ordinance.

    The City Commission of the City of Lake Wales does hereby find that repeat sexual offenders, sexual offenders who use physical violence, and sexual offenders who prey on children are sexual predators who present an extreme threat to the public safety. Sexual offenders are extremely likely to use physical violence and to repeat their offenses and most sexual offenders commit many offenses, have many more victims that are never reported and are prosecuted for only a fraction of their crimes. The cost of sexual offender victimization to society at large is clearly exorbitant.

    The City of Lake Wales intends for this section to serve the city's compelling interest to promote, protect, and improve the health, safety, and welfare of the children and citizens of the City of Lake Wales by creating areas around locations where children regularly congregate in concentrated numbers wherein sexual offenders are prohibited from establishing temporary or permanent residence.

    Whenever in this section the following terms are used, they shall have the meanings ascribed as follows:

    (a) Permanent residence: A place where a person abides, lodges, or resides for fourteen (14) or more consecutive days, or for more than sixty (60) days within any one (1) year interval, whether or not consecutive.

    (b) Sexual offender: Any person who has been convicted of or entered a plea of guilty to a violation of F.S. § 794.011, § 800.04, § 827.071, or § 847.0145, in which the victim of the offense was less than sixteen (16) years of age at the time the offense was committed, whether or not adjudication of guilt was withheld, and shall also include any person who has been convicted of or entered a plea of guilty to a violation of any statute in any other state or territory of the United States of America, which proscribes substantially the same behavior as those Florida Statutes referenced above, whether or not adjudication of guilt was withheld.

    (c) Temporary residence: A place where the person abides, lodges or resides for a period of fourteen (14) or more days in the aggregate during any calendar year and which is not the person's permanent residence, or the place where the person routinely abides, lodges, or resides for a period of four (4) or more consecutive or non-consecutive days in any month and which is not the person's permanent residence.

    It is unlawful for any sexual offender to establish a permanent residence or a temporary residence in the City of Lake Wales within two thousand five hundred (2,500) feet of any church, daycare center, public library, public park or public playground, public school bus stop, or school located outside the municipal limits of the City of Lake Wales but within two thousand five hundred (2,500) feet of a residence located within those municipal limits. It shall also be unlawful for any owner of a residential real property knowingly to lease or rent to a sexual offender who intends to establish a permanent or temporary residence within two thousand five hundred (2,500) feet of church, daycare center, public library, public park or public playground, public school bus stop, or school, or knowingly to permit any sexual offender to establish a temporary or permanent residence within two thousand five hundred (2,500) feet of any church, daycare center, public library, public park or public playground, public school bus stop, or school, as a member of the household of the owner's named tenant(s).

    For purposes of determining the minimum distance separation, the requirement shall be measured by following a straight line from the outer property line of the permanent residence or temporary residence to the nearest outer property line of a church, daycare center, public library, public park or public playground, public school bus stop, or school.

    The city may pursue any civil and criminal enforcement action or legal remedy available under controlling state law, including but not limited to injunctive relief. If injunctive relief or other civil judicial relief is sought, the city shall be entitled to recover its reasonable attorneys' fees from the defendant. A person who violates this section shall be punished by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500.00) or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding sixty (60) days, or by both; for a second or subsequent conviction of a violation of this section, said person shall be punished by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one (1) year, or by both. In the alternative, the city may seek enforcement by way of its municipal code enforcement process. This remedy shall be supplemental to and not in derogation of any other remedies.

    A person having a permanent residence within two thousand five hundred (2,500) feet of church, daycare center, public library, public park or public playground, public school bus stop, or school does not commit a violation of this section if any of the following apply:

    (a) The church, daycare center, public library, public park or public playground, public school bus stop or school within two thousand five hundred (2,500) feet of the person's permanent residence was established after the person established permanent residence;

    (b) The person established the permanent residence prior to the commission of the initial offense that causes the person to fall within the definition of a sexual offender under this section, whichever is later;

    (c) The person is a minor;

    (d) The person was a minor when he or she committed the offense and was not sentenced as an adult.

(Ord. No. 2007-27, § 1, 8-7-07)