*Updates* — Registrant forced to tent in the woods

Several days ago we broke the story about a South Carolina registrant –we’re calling him Jerry — who is ill and requires 8 hours of oxygen therapy at night and 4 nebulizer treatments, 20 minutes each, during the day. Recently, some oxygen during the day has been added.

Jerry and his wife (we’re calling her Susi) recently moved into a very modest house in a small town in South Carolina, a house that was approved by their county sheriff’s registration department on September 5 of this year.

On October 26 an officer of the same department notified him that the house was 138 feet too close to a daycare and, as someone had complained, he would have to move. He gave him 30 days.

This couple is financially strapped, living on disability, Moving here exhausted their meager funds. Thirty days offered no solution nor the money required to move again. Besides, the respiratory and other issues caused by Jerry’s illness, Marfan Syndrome, are exacerbating. Moving in the oxygen equipment by truck and getting it set up in the house was a major undertaking.

Jerry set up a tent in the woods and registered it with the sheriff’s department. It was approved even though it is still 7 feet short of the magic 1,000 feet line, and the officer told him that he will have to move it if there is another complaint. One neighbor, rather than complaining, offered him a larger tent.

Rain came; the tent had water inside. The county was, like much of South Carolina and other states in the south, under tornado watch the end of November. Jerry and his tent survived. Temperatures have dropped for several nights into the 30’s.

Jerry has two portable oxygen tanks that last an hour each. He is allowed to go home for supper each day and to fill the portable tanks. His weight, never enough for his six-foot-six frame, stands at 145, down from 154 at his last doctor’s visit. Two hours of oxygen on the portable tanks is far, far short of what he should be getting, but that requires his equipment and electricity, and his tent has neither.

Rain is scheduled to move back in by Sunday with temperature predictions for low 40’s and upper 30’s at night. Looking at expected weather for the rest of the winter, freezes, even snow, are expected periodically. Pet shelters warn us not to leave our dogs and cats out overnight in such weather. I guess no one has issued such a warning for human beings, especially one who was convicted of a sexual offense almost thirty years ago.

RSOL’s South Carolina Advocate has made several attempted interventions; a conversation with someone in the Sheriff’s office was not helpful, and the Sheriff is not available until Monday. A phone call to a local television station has thus far been equally unfruitful. He will continue his efforts and make appeals on humanitarian grounds.

I am in daily contact with Susi, and what she said today cut deeply into my heart: “As many families celebrate the Christmas season with excitement and joy, I can only pray that my husband survives the winter in a tent in the woods. It devastates me that we thought we had finally found peace and security and a somewhat normal life, only to have it blow up in our faces ‘because the neighbors complained.’ It is no comfort to know that if there had been no complaints, we could have stayed together as a family even though we weren’t quite a thousand feet from a day care.”

It should be no comfort to any of us.

I will be updating this blog and adding photographs when possible.


Update Saturday morning, 12/3: Our South Carolina RSOL Advocate has been told by someone in the sheriff’s dept. that the case cannot be discussed with him unless he has Power of Attorney. I have contacted the Chester News & Reporter asking them to investigate. I have also been given contact information for the Chester County Adult Protective Services and will explore that option.

picture of tent: picture-of-tent

jerry’s new home: jerrys-new-home

Sandy Rozek

Written by 

Sandy, a NARSOL board member, is communications director for NARSOL, editor-in-chief of the Digest, and a writer for the Digest and the NARSOL website. Additionally, she participates in updating and managing the website and assisting with a variety of organizational tasks.

21 Thoughts to “*Updates* — Registrant forced to tent in the woods”

  1. AvatarLawsuit needed here

    If the following happens, which I hope does not, but IF it does happen, I hope Susi has some strong recourse against the system and someone is willing to help her pro bono.

    IF Jerry should pass away due to his medical and the environmental conditions during his time in a tent during this cold SC winter, then I hope Susi presses a lawsuit against the sheriff’s department for negligence by informing them initially the apartment was approved then disapproved; thus forcing them (at least Jerry) to vacate. They did not do their due diligence here by not accurately helping them with the measurement when they sought out the department as needed to in their effort to find a residence. This would be more than a monetary lawsuit, but one that makes the sheriff’s department be accountable for their work.

    At the same time, right now, I would hope an attorney would help her with a lawsuit against the entity that has levied this crazy distance measurement people have to live by, if the NC case does not get to help them already collaterally. The measurement should be done away with and a lawsuit needs to start now on removing it using this situation.

    This is a sad situation that shouldn’t have ever happened, EVER.

  2. AvatarLovecraft

    You are doing great work. Stay on top of it and keep us informed. Surely there has to be some entity in media that can get this issue out into the mainstream. People need to know and see how damning being on the registry can be. Like the article says we don’t condemn animals to this kind of treatment.

  3. AvatarEcho

    i would be highly curious as to who did the measuring and told them it was OK in the first place….. to be told by the authorities that you are supposed to trust and are to abide by their rules, to only then be told by another deputy something different sounds highly questionable!!! and while it’s not permissible to know the name of the person who complained? i have to wonder what their position with the city is or their “relationship” with certain personnel of the city or sheriff’s dept!!!!
    maybe a plan of action would be to have it measured by the state police or the state itself.

  4. AvatarEcho

    i would be highly curious as to who did the measuring and told them it was OK in the first place….. to be told by the authorities that you are supposed to trust and are to abide by their rules, to only then be told by another deputy something different sounds highly questionable!!! and while it’s not permissible to know the name of the person who complained? i have to wonder what their position with the city is or their “relationship” with certain personnel of the city or sheriff’s dept!!!!
    maybe a plan of action would be to have it measured by the state police or the state itself.

    1. Avatarsandy

      According to Susi, it was approved with them knowing it was a bit too close. It wasn’t until a neighbor, according to the officer, complained that they enforced it.

    2. AvatarMaestro


      So basically the “freedom” in our country is that we get to take away OTHER PEOPLE’S freedom…? Yup! That’s America for ya! One person cries like a brat and everyone tries to please that person’s desires. Boo-hoo.
      The sheriff could have told those who complained that he’s got medical issues and his offense happened so long ago and to basically mind their own business. But noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. That would be too easy and not “P.C.”

    3. AvatarSheriff is elected, no exceptions

      I agree with you, Maestro, they could have worked better with the couple, but make an exception for one, you have to do it for all is what they would say. In addition, the sheriff is usually an elected official, so he answers to the public every election cycle.

    4. AvatarRajendra

      Usually a County Sheriff’s office gives approval for address when called with an address. But if a person is in probation, then these probation overlords have their own criteria. For example, an address was okayed by Sheriff’s office but then when called to PO was okayed as well, and was later informed that there was a small skating ring within the distance limit. Had already given the rent deposit and it was a pain emotionally. These probation people go over the limit to make Registrant’s life miserable, most of them get their daily ego boost that way.

  5. AvatarAl

    My question is, what were the standards used for the measurements? What are the standards for the legal measurements that need to be taken? Is it property line to property line? Direct measurement? Distance from door to door? Distance required for travel on a roadway? Line of sight?

    It seems to me that a civil rights violation could be filed, with a temporary stay order, to get a ruling on these kinds of vague distance measurements and the types of facilities that are off limits. Is this a state licensed daycare business, or just a person who watches kids for money from their home? What are the legal definitions of the type of “daycare” prohibited?

  6. AvatarErika

    I am certain I am not the only one who is suggesting a course of action but here it goes anyway just in-case:

    I am not sure if this is just simply a probation/parole officer doing this or if it is a state law or local ordinance?

    Just because the person is a registrant and subject to this or that does not mean he is exempt from other government services that provide legal defense for disability law, civil or human rights violations, there is a severe conflict of interest brewing here and if the powers that be know they are looking at a serious tort claim they are going to have to repeal whatever is that is causing this problem.

    The state is bonded against tort claims but it increases there deductible every time they are not the prevailing party!

    This is vulnerable adult abuse being carried out by law enforcements policing power in conflict with other state statutes or local ordinances through the legislature, city council or municipality; to be honest I would file or have a lawyer from some org or agency file a “Tort Claim Against the State.” If the state, city, county or local entity wants to subject people to abuse in violation of it’s own laws then it must be made aware of the monetary consequences for doing so.

    You really should contact Adult Protective Services for South Carolina (link https://scaccess.communityos.org/local/os107/posting_area/IRAList4.htm) and report it to a responsible agency regardless of what they say; insist they investigate and if they turn you away that is just another notch in your tort claim.

    They may come and investigate. I have seen cases like this in the past where the the United States Department of Health & Human Services under the authority of HIPPA & American with Disabilties Act come in and overide the state law.

    Title 15 – Civil Remedies and Procedures

    CHAPTER 78

    South Carolina Tort Claims Act


  7. AvatarRenate Hall

    May I copy this story and pass it out to public and news stations myself ?

  8. AvatarSusi

    Thank you to everyone who has commented and for the additional information being given to help this situation. I will be eternally grateful, may God richly bless each one of you!

  9. AvatarErika


    I just wanted to say here at RSOL, we are like family whether we think so or not, no matter where we are in the U.S. all we strive for is basic protection and exercise of our human, civil and constitutional rights without the government interfering with our lives and livelihood e.g. for allegations we may have plead guilty to 30 years ago.

    I am really sorry this is happening to you, forcing some one to stand out in the middle of no where for an X amount of hours is just indicative of trying to punish (the real intent) another person and an absolute antithesis to the purpose of it’s creation. I cannot even believe this is even happening in this day and age, I thought the barbarism of the puritan and colonial era was a lessen learned as a civilization evolves but obviously not, it is so surreal, like stepping into a parallel world and your stuck in the wrong one, that may exist according to the spooky effects of quantum physics.

    I always think about people less fortunate than myself, that is how I cope. I may not be out in the woods yet but that could be me some day so I am doubly concerned, I am a humanitarian or philanthropist and when other people are hurting in the world especially the slaughtering of Christians in the middle east, I feel it too, it is the unseen universal psychic bond we humans have, that is what makes us human and social creatures.

    I to am a leper, I try to avoid any social contact if at all possible other than commenting here, simply because I do not want to subject anyone to my living nightmare.
    My only solice and sanctuary is in the black void of my loneliness, it is like being alive but socially dead, almost a hermetic life style so to speak…

    1. Avatarsandy

      Thank you, Erika, on Susi’s behalf, but I am not Susi. I am a board member of RSOL and the communications liaison. I do much of the posting on the website and am the editor of the Digest. I am writing Susi and Jerry’s story. This is a situation that cannot and will not be ignored.

    2. AvatarErika

      Sorry for the mistake in who it was addressed to, was not sure who to address it to, I have terrible time remembering people’s names or the structure of numbers (dyscalculia) but I can give a three hour non-stop oral lecture just from memory!


      Have a wonderful holiday!

    3. Avatardavid

      I hear you Erika. Yes, in becoming a RSO one steps thru the looking glass. I’m fortunate to have a place to live, a job, a few friends, hobbies….but yeah, nobody understands how humiliating/frightening/unreal this all is unless it happens to them. I was set up in a sex sting and am left with nothing but fear and loathing for this system. Really…am i a monster…? Of course not. This is all just a figment of the imagination.

      I try very hard to live a good life and just want to get on with life. Sometimes i pull it off. easy for me to say- i’m not living in a tent. But it COULD happen. All of us are just a few events away from ending up like Jerry.

  10. AvatarIn Search of Liberty

    Exactly who are these people in the general public that agitate for this type of criminal injustice? Whoever they are, they should read “John 8:7”.

    1. AvatarDave D

      These people you talk of do not care about people they do not know, especially if they are a ex-sex offenders. They would ruin your life if you got between them and missing the next episode of their favorite TV show. Our lives are all in the hands of narcissistic sociopaths. These same people end up on juries etc… The Bible does not matter to them.

  11. AvatarOne eye left.

    I too am living in a tent in Washington state, it’s been very cold lately and some days I don’t even get out of my sleeping bags.luckily I live deep in the woods on a friends property where I cannot be messed with by people. I often go 5 or 6 days without showering. But I have to bath in the river when the rash starts to bother me and becomes uncomfortable. I used to have a family and a job a house and several vehicles, but all that ended when it was exposed that I had a juvenile sex offense on my record. I was just a teenager when I was convicted of the alleged crime. I was never given a fair trial and was found guilty by a judge not a jury of my peers. After I lost my job of 15 years I tried to gain employment but no company would hire me because of my record. Do during the process I lost my home after about 6 months I never missed a payment until this happened. I then begin sleeping in my truck at Wal-Mart until I was arrested for not making my weekly check in at the Thurston county sheriff’s department. I had no gas to even get there. So I was sentenced to three years in prison for failure to register. During my prison stay I was beaten by my cell mate and lost sight in my left eye and my right leg is now paralyzed from my hip being stomped on for over an hour. After this happened I was moved into the medical ward of the prison for about 4 months then I was released. Since the day of my release I was required to report to the probation office. Needless to say I never reported due to the fear of going back byo prison for a violation. Luckily my friend understands what I went through and allows me to keep a low profile on his property. Most of the time life’s OK especially in the summer. I live s primitive life style and my friend is in the Army and supplies me me plenty of MRE ration meals so I always have food. I’m wanted by the sheriffs office and have been wanted for several years now. But since I don’t want to be ever harmed again like I was in prison I’m not turning my self back in. I’ve been punished enough for a juvenile offense I never committed. My life is and has been in vain over these sex Offender laws. I know one day I could be found but with my two guns I have I’m not going back to prison for just trying to live my life. I have nothing left to loose and if I go back to prison I know I will die. I don’t want to harm anyone but at this point I will kill anyone without thinking twice about it. Who can blame me after what I’ve been through. I wish I could see my two little girls again before I die. I sometimes call them but there mother had brain washed them and re married. I wish I there was a way to get help but I know I will be sentenced to more prison time. So I choose to live here until my friend says it’s time to go or the police take me out of here in a body bag. All men have a right to live in happyness why are people like me casted out of society. I just wanted to raise my family and take care of them. Yet here I am cold and without my eye and can barely walk and for what some feel good law. I’m never going back my gun assures me of this.

  12. AvatarOne eye left.

    If your like me and you have had enough of man’s law I suggest you find a place you can go to hide out from man’s laws. We all have a right to live in peace without being attacked. I suggest getting a weapon like I have and setting up your camp do you can hear people coming. I’m committed to live here and if another man takes away my right I take away their right to life without hesitation. This is what society has made me become, so if they lack the courage of their conviction they will meet their maker. I have Nothing else to loose and neither do you.

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