Convicted sex offender wanders middle school grounds - KMOV.com

Convicted sex offender wanders middle school grounds

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Justin Zerban is a registered sex offender who was allegedly on the campus of a Metro East middle school. Justin Zerban is a registered sex offender who was allegedly on the campus of a Metro East middle school.
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (KMOV.com) - A convicted sex offender was reportedly found walking the grounds of East Alton Middle School near dismissal time and has already been released from jail.

Under Illinois state law, registered sex offender Justin Zerban is not allowed to be within 500 feet of school property.

"The mere presence of a sex offender on campus is extremely disturbing," said Madison County Prosecuting Attorney Tom Gibbons. "There are people that need to be kept away from our most vulnerable citizens: our children."

Police did discover and arrest Zerban before he was able to interact with any children or enter the school.

Last year, Zerban was found on school property in Wood River, so News 4 asked why aren't repeat offenders punished harsher?

"If the defendant had been charged with simply a failure to register as a sex offender, that does allow for an enhancement of charge for repeat offenses," said Gibbons. "In this particular charge in a school zone, it only allows for the Class Four Felony."

A Class Four Felony is the least severe and carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison, which is what Gibbons plans to pursue in Zerban's case.

Gibbons is proposing changes to the state legislature in order to make harsher felonies possible for similar cases.
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