Ventura County – California’s registered sex offenders are usually registered for a good reason, one of which is that their behavior is under the watchful eye of the courts and law enforcement agencies with an interest in protecting the public from the possibility of their re-offending.
Most of those who are so registered, well aware of the penalties for violating the terms of probation, parole, or registry, understand the limitations of their freedom—which frequently include restrictions as to place of residence, personal contact with protected classes of people, and public and private behaviors—and are careful to conform to them.
Others, whether as the result of innate insouciance or an inability to control certain compulsions, are unable to live within those limitations and wind up once again find themselves entangled in the long arms of the law. Such appears to be the case of Mark Swearingen, 49, a Thousand Oaks resident and registered sex offender who was allegedly reported as a “suspicious subject” to Ventura County Sheriff’s Dispatch in the wee hours of the morning of May 19th.
According to VCSD spokesman Sgt. Robert Fleming, the 911 Emergency call reported “an unknown male seen in the backyard of the victim’s residence”. When deputies arrived at a Thousand Oaks residence, Swearingen was found “seated in a chair watching the victim who was inside of her residence.” When the victim, a 17 year-old female, spotted Swearingen, he took off and fled the area. Investigating deputies learned that a vehicle belonging to Swearingen had been seen leaving the area, and the following day, May 20th, he was contacted at his place of residence.
After initially denying any violation of his registered sex offender status, Swearingen admitted to having been in the victim’s backyard at the time in question, and he was summarily arrested and booked into Ventura County Jail on charges of Peeking and Child Annoying.
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