Who’s Living Next Door?: Sex Offenders Taking Up Residence in Hotels, Motels
With the holidays right around the corner, some of us may have family coming to town to celebrate.
Before booking a hotel room, there is an important resource you may want to check out first: South Dakota’s Sex Offender Registry.
As KDLT News found out, there are a number of area hotels and motels serving as home to these offenders and many guests don’t even know it.
Steven Adams of Crystal, Minnesota and his family stayed in the Motel 8 on 10th Street in Sioux Falls this past June.
He said he noticed it seemed that people were living there and not just temporary guests, so he decided to do some research.
He looked up the hotel’s address in the state’s sex offender database and discovered three registered offenders were living in the motel. He says he was taken aback by the information.
“Somewhat in shock, that a business owner would be that careless, first of all, with his patrons. But also as a patron that is brought blindly into the situation, actually, very misled.”
The three are longer listed under with hotel’s address on the database.
However there are a number of registered offenders living in extended-stay hotels and motels throughout Sioux Falls.
“Yes I do know who they are,” said Arena Motel Manager Melissa Konz. “I don’t have problems with either one of them though.”
There are two registered offenders living at the Arena Motel on West Russell.
It’s not information management shares with guests who check in, and state law says they don’t have to.
“We don’t do it here,” says Konz. “It’s kind of against policy. If people want to know, it is publicly known so if you want to know you can get online you search your area.”
A search of the area revealed six offenders are currently living at the Sioux Falls Inn.
Five have registered their address at the Deluxe Motel on 12th Street.
The Rushmore Motel is home to four registered sex offenders.
It is legal for them all to live there.
“A registered sex offender by state statute can reside anywhere just so long as it’s not within 500 feet of a school, park, playground or pool,” said Detective Ron Harris with the Sioux Falls Police Department.
Detective Harris is tasked with keeping track of sexual offenders’ information, including their addresses, employment, and vehicles.
All of which, including detailed descriptions of an offender’s crime, is listed on South Dakota’s Sex Offender Registry.
Harris says it’s a good place to look if you plan on staying anywhere other than home.
“It’s basically a self-initiate to find out who’s around you, no one is going to come knock on your door and say, ‘Someone lives next door.”