Residents in a golf course neighborhood near Cincinnati have convinced a new neighbor to move somewhere else after they learned he is a registered sexual offender, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. David Lanford, 37, who moved to the neighborhood from California a month ago with his wife and two young children, says his crime doesn’t warrant the designation of “sexual predator.” He pleaded guilty and was convicted of sexual assault in Colorado 10 years ago. After learning in late February that a registered sexual offender had moved in, residents in the subdivision recruited a new buyer for the house and offered to pay Lanford’s moving expenses to leave. “Part of it has to do with fear, but property values are a big part of it,” said Bob Zinsser, president of the homeowners’ association. Lanford he plans to accept the offer. Prosecutor Woody Breyer said the neighbors’ offer to pay Lanford to move is legal and not considered extortion.
In a 1995 Colorado incident Lanford, who was armed with a handgun, barricaded himself and a woman inside his house and sexually assaulted her. He served a one-year jail term. Now, Lanford says he’s an upstanding man who moved from a $1.2 million home in a gated California community. He complains: “My family is getting harassed, and they’re all innocent. My wife has never even had a speeding ticket, but my two small children can’t go outside to play.” Lanford plans to move, perhaps to a place farther out in the country, and accept the money the neighbors will give him for moving expenses – about $20,000.