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Bloomington is home to 144 registered sex offenders

There are 144 registered sex offenders living in Bloomington. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office cannot locate three of them.

The U.S. Marshals Service was called in to help find one man in particular. They haven’t been successful, according to Monroe County's registry.

Dwayne Mead, 52, is that man. He will be on the sex offender registry for the rest of his life.

Mead is missing all of his upper teeth and has a tattoo of a pentagram made of rope on his left arm. Another tattoo on his back reads “Misfit Nation.”

There has been a warrant out for his arrest since April 2016.

“Last we heard, he might be in Arizona,” said Dawna Miller, the woman responsible for updating Monroe County's sex offender registry.

Other than his status as a non-compliant offender, Mead is a standard example of an offender in Bloomington.

He’s male, like nearly 97 percent of other registered offenders in the city. He’s registered for life, like almost 63 percent of Bloomington’s offenders. He’s also white, like the vast majority of those registered in the city.

Mead is registered as a sex offender for sexual battery. This is the lowest rung on the three-part tier of classifications.

The three categories of registered sex offenders in Indiana are sex offender, offender against children and sexually violent predator. 

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Individuals convicted of murder can be registered in a separate category as violent offenders. There is one man registered as a violent offender in Bloomington.

Sex offenders were often convicted of sexual battery, Miller said. Offenders against children were often convicted of sexual misconduct with a minor. Sexually violent predators were often convicted of rape or an offense involving a victim who is younger than 11 years old.

Other offenses include incest, possession of child pornography and criminal deviate conduct, which includes coerced oral and anal sex.

Miller said things such as peeing in public are not likely to land someone on the registry. She said the sheriff's office is focused on more serious offenses.

“A lot of them are against another person,” she said of registrable offenses.

Miller said many offenders against children were convicted of child molesting, solicitation, seduction or exploitation.

“I'm sure you've watched the show ‘To Catch a Predator,’” she said, explaining how offenders against children are sometimes caught through sting operations run by police. 

This was the case with Bloomington firefighter Robert Sears.

Sears was charged with sexual misconduct with a minor and child solicitation. If convicted, he will be No. 145 on Bloomington’s list of registered sex offenders.

Registered offenders are required to check in with Miller every so often, depending on their classification.

Homeless offenders must check in weekly, sexually violent predators every 90 days and everyone else yearly. Miller said she tries to schedule the yearly check-ins on individuals’ birthdays so they don't forget.

Individuals convicted of sex offenses are not allowed on school property — even to pick up their children. Even those convicted but not required to register as sex offenders are banned from school property.

Offenders who are on probation or parole during Halloween have to go to the Zietlow Justice Center to watch a movie during hours of trick-or-treat. 

Linda Brady, the Monroe Circuit Court’s Chief probation officer, said Monroe County started requiring this after they saw Marion County doing it. She said it helps the county keep track of all of the offenders on Halloween.

“It basically protects the public,” she said, “but it also protects the offenders if there were accusations made.”

Brady said there are also more probation officers at the Monroe County Fair to make sure offenders aren’t closer to children than they are allowed to be. She compared this to her department’s increased contact with alcohol and drug offenders during the Little 500 and New Year’s Eve. Increasing probation presence is a precautionary measure.

Other public safety measures include banning sexually violent predators and offenders against children from living within 1,000 feet of schools, youth programs and public parks and keeping track of registered individuals’ online presence.

Monroe County citizens can learn more about offenders in their area through the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office website.

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