Convicted sex offender can't return to California for now
A California man, released from the Armstrong County Jail after serving out his sentence for a sex-related crimes with a 17-year-old Washington Township female, has been stuck in Armstrong County, prevented from returning home because of restrictions in California's Megan's Law.
Timothy A. Rodenius, 32, of Ontario, Calif., was released from jail May 28 after serving 294 days on felonious charges of child pornography and photographing/filming/depicting a child sex act on a computer.
Rodenius pleaded guilty to those charges in March before President Judge Kenneth Valasek.
Now that he has completed his sentence, Rodenius wants to return to California to live in his parents' house, said attorney Gregory W. Swank, who has represented Rodenius since April. Public Defender Charles Pascal had represented Rodenius prior to April, following the man's arrest in August.
However, said Swank, the California probation office, which has been in communication with the Armstrong County probation office, has rejected Rodenius's request because his parents' home is within 2,000 feet of a school.
Allowing Rodenius, a registered sex offender, to live within those limits would be a violation of California's Megan's Law, which follows the more restrictive federal requirements under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), said Swank.
So for more than two weeks after his release from jail, Rodenius has been living in a room at the Quality Inn in West Kittanning waiting for a solution.
“He's stuck in a hotel until he can find a place to live in California that is acceptable to the California authorities that administer their sexual offender registration,” Swank said.
Swank said Rodenius told him that he doesn't have anywhere else to go.
“He has no money, his parents are supporting him as best they can but they're not wealthy people,” said Swank, adding that the situation is a pretty uncommon one.
“Nobody knows what to do about this,” he said.
Rodenius's charges and subsequent sentencing arose from incidents that began on Aug. 6 between him and the Washington Township minor in the same Quality Inn Hotel where he is now staying.
The Leader Times does not identify victims of sexual assault crimes.
According to state police at the time of his arrest, Rodenius had first communicated with the girl in 2010.
Court records noted that Rodenius was aware that the girl was underage and initially told her he was 19 and later that he was 22.
On Aug. 6, he picked up the girl from her home and took her to the hotel.
He took her home but returned the following day and brought her to the hotel again.
The girl's parents notified state police after they realized their daughter was missing and police found the girl and Rodenius at the hotel about an hour later.
Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or firstname.lastname@example.org.