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Accused sex offender released back into community after being found incompetent to stand trial

PINE HILLS, Fla. — A community learned on Monday that an accused repeat sex offender will be released back into their community, again.

Channel 9 first reported on 56-year-old Joseph Berry since 2020.

Berry has recently been found incompetent to stand trial and is not currently facing time for any of his charges.

In the courtroom, parents of the alleged victims were livid. They did not want him to be released anywhere near their daughters, who he’s accused of attacking in Pine Hills.

Deshawn Browdy spoke in court defending her two daughters who she said were victimized by Berry.

“As the mom of two victims I never gave anyone permission to drop charges,” Browdy said.

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The state was given the job of finding another place to send Berry besides a facility within proximity to his multiple victims in Pine Hills.

In court the state representative said none of the four placements it found take sex offenders.

The state was tasked with finding another location.

The state said Berry did not qualify to be a Baker Acted and another facility would not take him because he was found incompetent to stand trial and is not currently serving a sentence.

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“The issue left before the court what to do regarding conditional release status,” said Judge Wayne Wooten, “The other option is I could just release him period.”

Channel 9 found records dating back to 1991 showing Berry has a history of sex crime allegations, some involving children.

“I want him to know that I don’t work and I have a lot of extra time on my hands,” Browdy said. “When he sees me I hope he is aware I’m watching him. I am not comfortable with him being able to roam free and brutalize our children.”

The state mentioned it’s concern with the lack of supervision for Berry if released. However, the state and judge said in court because of his mental status, lack of facilities in the community and laws they have no other options.

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“Mr. Beery returns to Orange County jail to be released for conditional release,” Wooten said.

Victims and their families told Channel 9 that they feel if Berry is incompetent to stand trial, what makes him competent enough to be back in the community where he has repeatedly been accused of committing sex crimes.

Barry has competency hearings set for the end of the month.

“Now every woman and every child of this community are going to be at risk of being victimized or worse,” Browdy said.

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