Upper Arlington News

Child porn conviction means UA man must move

UA man's residence near a school violates laws due to child porn conviction County prosecutor notifies sex offender to relocate

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

An Upper Arlington man recently convicted of a felony related to child pornography hadn't decided last week if he will comply with state and local laws which require him to move, his attorney said.

Investigators from the Franklin County Prosecutor's Office Feb. 12 provided William B. Feldman with documents notifying him he lives within 1,000 feet of UA's Greensview Elementary School and therefore must relocate.

The action came after Feldman, 67, of 4295 Lyon Drive was sentenced Jan. 30 to three years of probation and told by a Franklin County Common Pleas Court judge that he cannot have Internet access at his home.

Feldman also must register annually for the next 25 years with the Franklin County Sheriff's Office -- or another county sheriff's office depending on where he resides -- as a Tier II sex offender after he pleaded guilty to a felony charge of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor.

The Feb. 12 notice, which was issued jointly by the county prosecutor's office and Upper Arlington City Attorney's Office, states Feldman is in violation of both state and Upper Arlington laws prohibiting a sex offender from living within 1,000 feet of a school.

"Unless you immediately move to a residence that complies with Section 2950.031 ORC and UA Ordinance 507.18, the Upper Arlington City Attorney's Office and the Franklin County prosecuting attorney will file a complaint to obtain a court order for you to vacate the premises," the notice stated.

On Feb. 14, Feldman's attorney, Eric Hoffman, said he was working with the county prosecutor's office to resolve the matter.

He said his client may relocate if given a reasonable amount of time to take what would be life-changing action, but could challenge a vacate order if told to move immediately.

"If they're going to tell him, 'You've got to move tomorrow,' we're going to fight this," Hoffman said. "We're still up in the air."

Investigators from the Franklin County Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, which teams with local law enforcement officials, searched Feldman's home in May 2012 and reportedly found child pornography on his computer.

Franklin County Chief Deputy Sheriff Rick Minerd earlier this month said Feldman admitted to viewing "thousands" of child pornography images since 2009, and that illegal videos were found in a folder on Feldman's computer.

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.

Hoffman said Feldman, who is a former attorney whose license currently is inactive in Ohio, has lived in his Upper Arlington home for nearly 25 years and has no previous criminal record.

He added that Feldman was viewing the illegal material in his home and did not share it was others, but he came to the attention of law enforcement after accessing child pornography on a free, file-sharing website.

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said Feb. 13 that Feldman "must move immediately."

"An injunction/eviction will be filed if he does not," O'Brien said via email.

O'Brien added that failure to relocate could result in Feldman being imprisoned, per his sentence.

"His probation requires that he follow all laws and if he violates any then he is subject to a probation violation and the 15-month sentence," O'Brien said.

Upper Arlington City Attorney Jeanine Hummer said Feb. 13 via email, "We will provide a reasonable time if we believe Mr. Feldman is beginning the process of compliance. However, if Mr. Feldman intends not to comply as stated by his attorney, I foresee filing an action in court quickly.

"I will be conferring with the county prosecutor as to the timing."

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