Conway, SC – A man in South Carolina is a little peeved over the fact that the registered sex offender convicted of soliciting his 10-year-old daughter for sex is still allowed to live next door.
Kerry Marlowe was convicted of criminal solicitation of a minor and had to registered as a sex offender because of an incident that happened between him and his neighbor’s 10-year-old daughter last fall.
According to the girl’s father, Chris Smith, his daughter was playing with Marlowe’s cat by the chain link fence that separates their yards. Smith’s daughter says that Marlowe was standing on his side of the fence when he asked her about her bra size. She says Marlowe then said he wanted to rub lotion on her, exposed himself, and leaned over the fence to try and kiss her. After the girl went inside and told her father what happened, Smith called police.
Marlowe was arrested a few days later and charged with committing a lewd act on a minor. At his probation hearing, Marlowe was ordered to wear an ankle bracelet and not to go within a mile of the neighborhood. But when Marlowe pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of criminal solicitation of a minor, he was sentenced to four years probation, had to register as a sex offender, and ordered to stay at least 30 feet from Smith’s daughter. The day after the sentencing, Marlowe moved back into his house.
Local Prosecutor Candice Lively said Marlowe admitted he was drunk that day and asked the girl if she would have sex with him, but denies he exposed himself or tried to kiss the girl. She’s not worried about the girl’s safety because even though what Marlowe admitted to was creepy he doesn’t fit the profile of a sex offender. She added that Marlowe is fearful of violating his probation, which would send him straight to prison, and he knows that the girl’s family will not hesitate calling police.
As you can imagine, Smith is not too happy about this situation. “When it’s all stripped away,” Smith told Sun News of Myrtle Beach. “I still have a convicted, registered sex offender living next door.” He says he would gladly move from the home he has lived in for the past decade, but that he knows he’ll have problems selling now that a registered sex offender lives next door. He also said he’s trying to get a state law changed so that a convicted, registered sex offender cannot live within a mile of his victim.
Marlowe hasn’t made any comments, but his mother has. Sally Osborne, who lives across the street from her son and the Smiths, says she doesn’t believe her son did anything wrong. If he did, she stated, it was only because he was drunk. She also said she feels that the girl’s mother, Laura Smith, fabricated the entire encounter between her son and their daughter in an attempt to take her son’s land.