Crime & Courts

Sex offender arrested as he enjoyed sheriff’s office charity softball game, NC cops say

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State, federal and local law enforcement agencies have online tools to help you track sex offenders. You can look for a particular person, or register to be notified if any convicted sex offender moves near you.

A North Carolina man watching a charity softball game Saturday was arrested, the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office reported.

The man, Billy Gene Weesner, broke the law because he is a lifetime registered sex offender who is not allowed on park premises, the Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post.

The game the 50-year-old Columbus resident chose to attend was a benefit involving members of the Sheriff’s Office, according to the post.

Weesner was taken into custody after being spotted by a Polk County detective attending the game between the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office and the Henderson County Senior Softball team, according to the post.

On April 8, Weesner was arrested in Polk County on charges of “violating terms and conditions of his court-mandated registry status,” the Sheriff’s Office said in the post.

He was out on bond when Weesner was identified by the detective at Jackson Park, the Facebook post said.

Weesner was taken to the Henderson County Detention Center and charged with sex offender unlawfully on premises, jail records show. His bond was set at $10,000, but Weesner is still behind bars, according to jail records.

North Carolina law says sex offenders “are not permitted to be at a place where minors frequently congregate — including recreation parks,” WHNS reported.

In 1991, Weesner was convicted in Michigan on two counts of criminal sexual conduct for sexually assaulting two children, a 7- and 8-year-old, according to the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation Sex Offender Registry. Weesner served more than 22 years in prison on the convictions, per the registry.

Swansea Police Chief Steve Johnson talks about the arrest of Dennis Cotton on a sex offender registry violation. Cotton allegedly failed to report that he was officiating youth sporting events for the Smithton elementary school.

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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.

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