Sex offender arrested after allegedly spending weekend with young girls

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A convicted violent sex offender has been arrested after authorities say he spent a weekend with three young girls in hotel rooms.

Lonnie Buckley, 49, was arrested Wednesday after a search by police. He has been charged with violating sex offender restrictions.

According to a police statement, a person called police May 28 to say Buckley had picked up her 14-year-old sister at their home in Memphis. She recognized two other girls who were in the car.

When investigators located the girls, they told police they had spent the nights of May 27 and 28 with Buckley in motel rooms in Southaven and Memphis. He then dropped them off at the home of one of the girls.

Two of the girls were 14 and one was 12, police said.

Officers say at this time, he’s only charged with violating his offender guidelines — they don’t have reason to believe he did anything to the minors or offered them anything illegal.

Buckley was convicted in 1992 of raping an 11-year-old, police said. He is prohibited from being alone with minors and required to notify Memphis Police of his whereabouts and of his vehicle, a green Ford Taurus.

Police said Buckley was released from the Shelby County Jail on May 7. Court records show he was taken into custody on a bench warrant for failing to appear in court on a speeding ticket.

He has faced several previous charges of failing to register as a sex offender.

In 2012, he was arrested after police found him at a different hotel with a woman and three underage girls smoking marijuana.

WREG went to his house Thursday to get his side of the story, but no one came to the door.

We also tracked down the woman who reported him being with juveniles, but she didn’t want to say anything.

The manager of the Knights Inn in Memphis where Buckley allegedly took the girls said off-camera that these situations are difficult because workers can’t do background checks and would’ve likely assumed Buckley was just a father with his kids.