Parents angry over sex offender allowed at New Mexico school; law does not restrict him from being there

Convicted sex offender lives less than a mile away

Parents angry over sex offender at NM school

ANTHONY, N.M. - Some mothers in one Anthony, N.M., neighborhood tell ABC-7 they're angry over a sex offender being allowed to live near and go to an elementary school.

Paola Dominguez said the street she lives on used to be filled with kids playing, but now with a registered sex offender on the block, she said everyone's more cautious.

"I don't feel the kids around here are safe at all," Dominguez told ABC-7.

Erasto Ortega, 55, was convicted of sexual assault on a child in 2000. He's served his time and completed his probation, so according to Doña Ana County law, Ortega can live wherever he wants as long as he registers his address.

Ortega lives in a home less than one mile away from Loma Linda Elementary School.

"When I found out that he lives just a few houses down from me, that's when I was like, kind of scared," Dominguez said.

There are also no restrictions in the county that keep Ortega from stepping on school property.

Dominguez said it's even worse that Ortega is allowed to drop off and pick up his children at school everyday.

"That for me is just saying you can look, but you cannot touch. You never know what's going through his mind," Dominguez said.

The principal of Loma Linda Elementary confirms that Ortega is not breaking any laws, so there is no need to restrict him.

ABC-7 knocked on Ortega's door and his wife said her family is being harassed by neighbors because of Ortega's past, and it's unfair.

"There's a law the protects my husband. And regardless he's a sex offender, he has no restrictions," Ortega's wife said.

Dominguez claimed Ortega has made inappropriate comments to her 15-year-old daughter.

"He has actually made the comment to my daughter that she's pretty and that he wants to take her for a ride. I just don't like that. Not even from any stranger, much less a sex offender," Dominguez said.

Dominguez said she feels the law in Doña Ana County is not doing enough to protect her children and the others who go to Loma Linda.

"Why wait until something actually happens when they can prevent it?" Dominguez said.

Just across the state line in El Paso, police said convicted sex offenders are restricted to stay at least 1000 feet from schools, but unless the law changes in Doña Ana County, Ortega is well within his rights to live where he does.

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