Upper Arlington News

UA may order convicted sex offender to move away

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An Upper Arlington man convicted last month in Franklin County Common Pleas Court of a charge related to child pornography may be forced to move away from a local elementary school.

William Feldman, 67, of 4295 Lyon Drive, was sentenced Jan. 30 to three years' probation and ordered to register with the Franklin County Sheriff's Office as a Tier II sex offender after he pleaded guilty to a felony charge of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor.

Upper Arlington City Attorney Jeanine Hummer said both her office and the Upper Arlington Police Division intended to notify Feldman that his conviction and classification as a sex offender will require him to relocate.

She said the police division has determined Feldman currently lives within 1,000 feet of Greensview Elementary School.

"He will be instructed that he will be required to relocate," Hummer said Feb. 6. "The police submit that first notice once they make a determination.

"I just received a letter sent out from (Upper Arlington Police) Sgt. (John) Wilhelm notifying Mr. Feldman that he falls within the residential restrictions. We will be following up with our own correspondence, as well."

Hummer said she had found no deadline in the law for Feldman's relocation, and the city typically attempts to achieve compliance without taking legal action.

However, the city can enforce an injunctive action, she said.

According to Franklin County Chief Deputy Sheriff Rick Minerd, the Franklin County Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, which teams with local law enforcement officials, searched Feldman's home in May 2012 after task force officials made contact with him in an Internet chat room.

"They found child porn on his computer," Minerd said. "He told investigators he started viewing child porn in '09.

"He admitted he looked at thousands of child porn images. They also found videos in a (computer) folder."

Feldman originally faced eight counts of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor, but seven of those charges were dismissed after he pleaded guilty to a single count.

In addition to probation and being required to register as a sex offender for the next 25 years, he can have no Internet access at his home.

His attorney, Eric Hoffman, said Feldman was viewing the material in his home and was not sharing it with others.

Hoffman added that Feldman has no previous criminal record, and might challenge any action to force him to move from his home of the last 20 to 25 years.

"I was aware the law existed," Hoffman said. "Whether the city was going to pursue that recourse was something we were going to wait and see.

"I don't know yet (if he'll relocate). I know there are some defenses."

The local law prohibits anyone who is convicted of or who has pleaded guilty to a sexually oriented or child-victim offense from living within 1,000 feet of any school premises, licensed daycare facility, preschool, public park, swimming pool, library or playground.

"At the time Mr. Feldman purchased his home, this law did not exist," Hoffman said. "There's a good chance we would be defending that cause of action, especially since that law did not exist when he moved to Upper Arlington."

According to the Ohio Supreme Court's attorney directory, Feldman has a law license from the University of Cincinnati.

The directory states Feldman was admitted to practice law in Ohio in November 1973, but his license currently is inactive.

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