Skip to comments.Neighborhood 'Child Rapist' Signs Blamed For Sex Offender's Suicide - cannot alter flyers
Posted on 04/22/2005 9:42:50 PM PDT by Former Military Chick
Residents in a Ocala neighborhood could face charges after a convicted sex offender apparently committed suicide in despair over signs labeling him a "child rapist" posted in his neighborhood, according to Local 6 News.
Clovis Ivan Claxton, 38, who was convicted of sexually assaulting a child in Washington in 1991, had lived at 3230 SE. 45 Street in Ocala for about two years.
Tuesday, Claxton noticed bright yellow, laminated signs displaying his picture, date of birth, address and the words "child rapist" hanging on power poles in his neighborhood. A county commissioner proposed posting such information in the community but Sheriff Ed Dean rejected the idea.
After seeing the signs, Claxton called the sheriff's office and said that he felt "extremely scared and feels that people in the neighborhood are now out to possibly hurt him."
"Once he made these type statements our deputies took this man into custody under the Baker Act law and transported him to a local mental health facility for evaluation," Marion County Sheriff's Capt. Denis Strow said. "He was later released."
Tuesday morning, Claxton's parents found him dead of an apparent overdose with one of the child rapist flyers by his side.
Jane Claxton blames County Commissioner Randy Harris, who proposed the flyers, for her son's death, according to a report.
"Just don't get on the bandwagon," she said. "There's going to be other (deaths) if Randy Harris has his way. He hasn't been in trouble for 18 years, and he's branded for life."
Harris said sex offenders need to take responsibility for their actions.
"I don't blame his death to the signs," he said, adding he was undeterred in his quest to alert people to sex offenders living in their neighborhoods.
Dean said it is an example that police work should be left to authorities.
"We need to keep calm, do the right thing," Dean said. "Not go overboard with it. Protect our children. Use all of the resources we can but not stir a community up to a frenzy."
Claxton's death follows the high-profile arrests of sex offenders in the separate killings of two Florida girls less than seven weeks apart. State lawmakers have responded by passing a bill to require lifetime supervision of some child sex offenders.
State law allows for flyers to be printed and distributed, Local 6 News reported. But, altering the signs or flyers is against the law.
Claxton's address had been added to the top of the flyer along with the words "child rapist."
"It is a violation of the law," Strow said. "And should we find who perpretrated it, I'm sure it is a case that would be reviewed by the state's attorney office to see if they wish to pursue it."
The person responsible for the flyers faces up to 1 year in jail.
The sheriff's office is investigating and an autopsy was scheduled for Friday.
Marion County is located northwest of Orlando and has more than 600 registered sex offenders.
Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.
He was a molester, it is clear of that. He had been arrested in 1991. They do not speak of his criminal record after 91.
Did he do something that warranted all of this activity, or because of events in the past weeks did folks feel they needed to be proactive when it pertains to molesters in their neighborhood.
If in fact that were on witch hunt, and broke the law in the process then they should be accountable. Two wrongs never make a right.
I find it odd, that when he complained to the police there reaction to take him to a mental health facility. He I feel had a valid point to be concerned and from the article tried to have it addressed.
While I personally loath the actions of a molesters or rapist for that matter take no pleasure at all in the death of this man. Especially if he had turned his life around and was never in trouble with the law.
Of course more information is needed, I will re access as info warrants.
Lifetime supervision? Of some of them? I think they ought to just put them all away for life. And if they have killed they should likewise be killed.
We've all felt guilt, if we're human. I can't imagine what a truely contrite person must feel for such a crime. I'd be suicidal too.
I also can't imagine what his victim must have felt.
Don't know what to say about this sort of thing. Pray, is my only advice.
yeah, but: was it suicide, or was he encouraged to OD at gunpoint by some concerned neighbor?
""There's going to be other (deaths)"
Lets hope they all die so our kids can be safe. If these sickos are not a danger,then why do they need to register and why do we need to know where they live?
IMO, he should have been locked up for life when he was proven guilty in 1991.
Then the neighbors would have had nothing to picket. Their children would be safer and the community would be peaceful.
I'm tired of our people having to assume guilt for walking up and down a sidewalk with signs.
A registered sex offender was found dead this morning in Ocala, two days after he told deputies he might hurt himself. 38 year old Clovis Ivan Claxton was convicted in 1991 for a sex offense in Washington state. Marion County Sheriff's Department spokesman Dennis Strowe says he contacted their office on Tueday. He found flyers posted around his neighboorhood containing his information from the Florida Department of Law Enforcemen's Sexual Offender website. Also added to the sheets were teh words "Child Rapist".
Strowe says the man was so upset he threatened to commit suicide. A deputy transported him to a mental health facility under the Baker Act Law. He was later released and returned home, where he was found dead this morning.
Deputies say his parents found him Claxton with one of the flyers next to him. Detectives think a drug overdose may have been involved, but are waiting for an autopsy to reveal the exact cause of death.
Claxton's mother told authorities that her son had attempted to commit suicide before by taking several different pills. Investigators won't officially declare it a suicide until autopsy results come back.
Claxton was convicted in Washington state in 1991 of molesting a 9-year-old girl. He was 20 at the time, but his mother said he was developmentally much younger due to a brain injury.
She said her son required constant care and recently relied on leg braces and a wheelchair.