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Conviced Child Molester Back in Jail

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Imprisonment due to work of Heron mothers

On November 1, Sanders County Attorney Bob Zimmerman, speaking to concerned Heronites, gave credit to local involvement for the continued incarceration of convicted child molester, Edward Mayfield. Mayfield, 46, and his presumed stepfather, James Maderos, 74, who has been convicted twice of child sexual molestation, moved to the Heron area this spring. When a California Police Detective informed the Sanders County Sheriff's department, these men were arrested for their failure to register as sexual offenders. The older man pled guilty; the younger claimed he had just moved here.

    Records collected and provided to the court by a Heron mother proved Mayfield had been employed in Montana in March. His plea will be changed, and Zimmerman promised the crowd that he would not accept a plea bargain. Both men, he stated, will be prosecuted to the full extent which, in the case of not registering as a sexual offender, is five years.

    The meeting, organized quickly by a group of committed mothers, drew in a crowd of 80 people who expressed their outrage, their fears, and their questions. Sheriff Gene Arnold explained that the sexual offender registry law has many loopholes and that offenders, once they have completed their sentence and probation, are no longer being tracked. Furthermore, the list is not complete or always correct. While individuals can obtain the sexual offender registry for Sanders County at the Sheriffs office, the Sheriff cannot post this list publicly. The information is available on the Montana State web site:  www.state.mt.us  by linking to Justice Department, Criminal Investigation, and Sexual and Violent Offender Registry.

    Zimmerman vowed to publish the list of offenders when the state finished updating the information. If local newspapers are afraid to publish the names of sexual offenders, he stated he would run the list as a paid advertisement.

    When asked if neighbors could put up pictures of offenders on bulletin boards, Zimmerman responded, "These people have a right to move here; we have a right to not like it." The group was informed it is legal to download the information from the Sexual and Violent Offender Registry and post it in public locations.

    Sheriff Arnold stated that public involvement is important, and community members need to pay attention, and contact the Sheriff's office with any suspicions. He promised he would keep the community informed if any registered sex offenders move into the region.

    November 19 is the date for the Mayfield omnibus hearing and the Mederos trial will be held on December 3, 10 a.m. Zimmerman suggested the communities' continued involvement would be an important factor in the sentencing.

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Lou Springer Lou Springer lives in Heron when not out on a river somewhere.

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