Upper Arlington News

Civil complaint filed

City asks court to order sex offender to move

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City and county officials last week took additional action to force a recently convicted sex offender to move from his Upper Arlington home.

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien and Upper Arlington City Attorney Jeanine Hummer filed a civil complaint March 7 seeking a court order for William B. Feldman to permanently relocate from his home on Lyon Drive.

Feldman, 67, 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 after he was convicted on a single felony count of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor.

He 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.

Because he lives within 1,000 feet of both Greensview Elementary School and Sunny 95 Park, O'Brien and Hummer maintain Feldman must move. Both state and city laws prohibit convicted sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school, and Upper Arlington's laws also restrict them from residing within 1,000 feet of licensed daycare facilities, preschools, public parks, swimming pools, libraries or playgrounds.

"The action was taken because Mr. Feldman has not complied with state law to relocate his residence," Hummer said Monday, March 10. "To my knowledge, Mr. Feldman has not relocated."

The complaint filed by O'Brien and Hummer requests that Franklin County Common Pleas Court "permanently enjoin and restrain (Feldman) from maintaining his residence or occupying the premises" on Lyon Drive.

According to the Ohio Supreme Court's attorney directory, Feldman was admitted to practice law in Ohio in November 1973, but his license currently is inactive.

Feldman's attorney, Eric Hoffman, said Monday, March 10, that he had yet to receive any notification that a complaint had been filed against his client.

Hoffman said he believes Feldman will move from his Upper Arlington home of more than 20 years "eventually," but he needs time to arrange for that relocation.

"We're still kind of in the same position," Hoffman said.

A trial date on the complaint is more than a year away. As of press time, the website for the Franklin County Common Pleas Clerk of Court's Office indicated a trial assignment related to O'Brien and Hummer's complaint has been scheduled for March 16, 2015.

"Mr. Feldman may choose to comply with the law and relocate at any time," Hummer said. "He does not have to wait for the court to rule."

Hoffman said it typically takes about a year for courts to resolve civil complaints filed in sex offender cases.

Feldman originally was charged with eight counts of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor after investigators from the Franklin County Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force searched his home in May 2012 and reported finding child pornography on his computer.

Seven of those charges were dismissed after Feldman pleaded guilty to a single count.

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

Hoffman said Feldman has no previous criminal record.

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

Last month, O'Brien said Feldman could face up to 15 months in prison if he's found to have violated the terms of his probation, which includes a requirement to follow all laws.

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