Updated:SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. —
A convicted sex predator who was only given a warning after being caught visiting a Sanford park full of children had a string of other probation violations before his new arrest, according to records.
WFTV learned prosecutors accused a judge of ignoring a state statute that required Nijhir Lomax have a hearing to determine whether he’s a threat to the neighborhood.
The court does not comment on pending cases, and the State Attorney’s Office said the attorney assigned to the case was out on maternity leave, but when she got back, she immediately filed paperwork to have Lomax locked up.
One violation was for visiting Fort Mellon Park, where Conni Brady takes her grandchildren.
“This guy obviously doesn’t have any respect for the law, so we need to punish him appropriately and keep my granddaughter and my grandson away from him,” she said.
Lomax was given several warnings, and the Department of Corrections said its probation officer followed procedure.
Lomax was convicted of raping two children last year, and records show his first violation was in March.
Lomax’s probation officer recommended the judge continue supervision without further action.
The judge signed off on it, but a month later, Lomax violated probation again and the judge let him out on a $4,000 bond.
“By not obeying the curfew, by removing his GPS monitor, that could place the children of this community in danger. We need to know where these people are at all times,” said WFTV’s legal analyst Bill Sheaffer.
In July, the lead prosecutor got back from maternity leave and discovered Lomax was out on bond even though he never had a state-mandated hearing to determine if the 20-year-old is a danger to the public.