Sex offender registries are supposed to keep families and investigators informed about where sexual predators live. Despite being on that list, police say a convicted sex offender continued to have access to children.
If you search the online sex offender registry websites, you can find a photo of Jerry Lynn Snodgrass and his last known address. He followed the law when it comes to registering as a sex offender, but police said that didn't stop him from harming new victims.
After being convicted of indecent liberties with a child in 1995 in Kansas, Snodgrass moved to an apartment building in Riverside.
Police said this month they learned Snodgrass invited neighborhood kids over to his apartment to play with young relatives that would visit him. During that time, investigators say he molested a 5-year-old girl and another young victim inside his apartment. The young girl reported it to her parents last Christmas.
He was formally charged on Jan. 17 with two counts of statutory sodomy.
"Oh I was shocked. I was very shocked," said the victim's grandmother, whose identity is being concealed to protect the young girl.
Snodgrass was convicted of indecent liberties with a child in April 1995 and October 1995 in La Cygne, KS.
While he is required to register as a sex offender, Riverside, MO, police said they learned Snodgrass may have targeted the two new victims in Missouri.
"We only trusted him because we knew his family," said the victim's mother.
The little girl's mother said if they had known the details of Snodgrass' criminal past, they never would have let the girl near him.
"I think he definitely needs to go to prison and not get out. Obviously being registered didn't deter him at all," the mother said.
"We are going to do everything in our power to make sure she gets the right counseling and the best help she can get to get her through this," the grandmother said.
The family wants to warn other families to routinely check sex offender registries. They also recommend a thorough background check before allowing a child to visit a neighbor. They said, if they had done that, they would have had warning about Snodgrass.
The family said they are thankful the little girl felt comfortable telling her parents what had happened so they could immediately report it to police.
According to court documents, Snodgrass eventually told police he was going to confess to the crime so he "didn't have to worry about it." He is being held in the Platte County Jail on a $50,000 bond.
If he is released, the judge ordered him to not have any contact with anyone under the age of 18.
Click here for the Missouri Highway Patrol Sex Offender Registry for Snodgrass.
Click here for the Platte County Sheriff's Office Offender Registry for Snodgrass.
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Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:14 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:14:19 GMT
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