Residents in Sierra Madre expressed outrage at a town hall meeting Wednesday night over the recent discovery that a convicted child molester who legally changed his name was living hundreds of feet from a local school.
Andrew West Reid — now known as AWest according to the Megan’s Law website of registered sex offenders in California – was arrested eight years ago for molesting a then-6-year-old girl, people in the neighborhood told KTLA.
AWest, 60, was released from prison in January, but residents only recently learned he was back in their community.
Although police said he registered in February, his photo was only posted to the Megan’s Law website last month.
The delay was due to a technicality — the Department of Justice claimed his fingerprints weren’t appropriate and wanted the fingerprints and photo retaken, Sierra Madre Police Department Chief Larry Giannoni said.
Some residents expressed outrage that it took them months to found out he was back in the area.
“Damn the technicalities, he should have been put on that website right away,” said Ellen Burry, who lives in the area.
Some parents were also concerned about his proximity to a local school.
According to the police chief, however, AWest can live 600 feet away from the school because he served his time in federal prison, not state prison.
“He has certain conditions. He can live in the residence, but he cannot have a view of any school, park, playground, anything where kids are, Giannoni said. “His residence, there are no views. However, he cannot be within a hundred feet of any school. He can’t loiter. In other words, he can’t walk around the corner.”
A meeting was scheduled to be held at St. Rita School in Sierra Madre beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday to discuss the matter.