by Oscar De Léon
“This individual has rights,” said La Verne Police Chief Ron Ingels at a town hall meeting Tuesday at Oak Mesa Elementary School.
The Parent Teacher Association of Oak Mesa Elementary School called the meeting to discuss the fate of Kristian Eric Rosvold, the high-risk sex offender who recently moved into the community about 700 feet from Oak Mesa.
The public outcry began last month shortly after Rosvold, who moved to La Verne on Jan. 30, came to register at the police department.
Under federal law, convicted sex offenders must register with their local police.
La Verne Police decided to make this information public, by sending a flier with Rosvold’s photograph and address to the school. The flier also detailed some of his offenses.
Under Megan’s Law, police are allowed to release such information to the community.
Soon after, the flier went to neighbors who started protesting, holding signs outside Rosvold’s Cork Circle home and vowing to run him out of town.
They said they feel his presence to be threatening to their children.
At the meeting, roughly 200 citizens expressed their frustration and fear.
He lives too close to the school they said.
They are concerned their children could be his next victims.
A 17-person panel of police, deputy district attorney, school administrators and social workers answered the questions of concerned neighbors and parents.
Panelists included La Verne Mayor Jon Blickenstaff, Police Chief Ron Ingels, Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Gail Erlich and Oak Mesa’s Principal Karen Eberhardt.
The meeting overall was very successful, Ingels said Wednesday.
Among the issues discussed at Tuesday’s meeting were Megan’s Law, and the fact that there are 45 other registered sex offenders in the city.
The rights of community members and Rosvold also were addressed.
Ingels explained the purpose of Megan’s law, which is to inform community members when there is a high-risk sex offender moving into their neighborhood.
Neighbors asked the panel why they were not told of the other sex offenders in the community.
Ingels explained that there are different classifications of sex offenders.
Police released the names of those considered most dangerous.
A sex offender is considered high-risk based on the severity of his offenses, Ingels said.
Megan’s Law gives any law enforcement agency the right to notify the public when sex offenders, who have been classified as high-risk, move into the community.
“He has the right to live here,” Ingels said. “People have the right to protest.”
When asked if the police department knew what the outcome of the flier would be, Ingels said that he anticipated this reaction. Ingels said he had warned Rosvold about this outcome.
Neighbors said they had seen Rosvold at his current residence before Jan. 30, the day that he registered at the police department.
There are rumors that he had been living at the house in La Verne for over four months before he registered with the police.
Lt. Scott Pickwith said that officers had gone to each neighbor’s house to check, and they could not find evidence that this statement was true.
La Verne police will be attending a hearing in Marin County, where Rosvold was convicted, asking to modify Rosvold’s probation, claiming that the restrictions on his probation were too lenient for La Verne’s standards.
They said that Rosvold is too close to the school, and they want him to move at least 1,000 yards away.