CRITTENDEN COUNTY, Ark. — The Crittenden County Sheriff’s Office took to Facebook to alert residents of a sex offender now living in the area.
Todd Grooms, chief investigator with the Crittenden County Sheriff’s Office, said the department’s Facebook post alerting residents in Earle, Arkansas, about a level four sexual offender is part of the department’s commitment to keeping citizens safe and not a way to target the offender.
“People need to know when you have someone that’s classified as a sexual predator living in their neighborhood,” Grooms said. “The majority of people appreciate that they’ve been notified. It is and can be a two-edged sword. We want to inform the public, but we don’t want to create a risk of criminal activity towards him when doing it.”
Grooms said when Kenneth Ray Henson moved to Oak Street in Earle, deputies went door-door to alert neighbors.
Henson is the only level four sex offender in Crittenden County.
He was convicted in 1984 of aggravated criminal sexual assault, attempted murder, home invasion and armed robbery in Illinois and sentenced to 60 years.
No one answered the door at the house where Henson is supposed to be living, and no one on Oak Street would comment.
One man who lives in Earle said law enforcement and the media needs to leave Henson alone.
“The guy done did his time,” he said. “He ain’t running around raping nothing. Ain’t gonna rape nothing. He done did his time, so why are you coming with the ‘extra?'”
Grooms said Henson did not do his full time.
“He hasn’t done his time,” Grooms said. “He was sentenced to 60 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. As to why Illinois decided to go ahead and release him, I don’t know, but the reality of it is he’s now in our neighborhood.”
Grooms said Henson has been compliant in letting the department know where he’s living. As a level four offender, he’s restricted from living within 2,000 feet of a school, church, playground, public swimming pool or anywhere children might be.