WFTV learns 8 sex offenders live close to planned Orange County park


ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Orange County is moving forward with plans to build a new park in East Orange County, but Channel 9's Racquel Asa found the county still hasn't addressed the half dozen sex offenders living nearby.

The $5 million park would sit on Young Pine Road just off Curry Ford Road.

Having a 60-acre park near Gemma Carreno's home would be convenient for her three children, but Cerreno's mind quickly changed when she learned the county was building the park even through sex offenders lived nearby.

"They have to reconsider that, you know?" said Floyd.

In March, WFTV told County Commissioner Jennifer Thompson about the eight offenders who live within a mile radius of the park. On Tuesday, Thompson declined to comment.

Asa asked the county parks manager about the offenders. He said the department doesn't do such searches before buying park property.

Under state law, sex offenders can't live within 1,000 feet of a park or child care facility. But the Sheriff's Office told WFTV offenders can't be relocated if they live nearby before anything was built.

Officials said deputies can only actively monitor the offender.

"If I go, I will be watching everywhere they go," said Cerreno. "You cannot just let them go anywhere."

The parks department said it would consider searching for sex offenders the next time it purchases park property.

The new park will be done by summer 2014.