Legislators Looking at Sex Offender Problem in Care Facilities

10-5-05 - State lawmakers want to know exactly how many sex offenders are living in nursing homes before they consider laws intended to protect other residents.

A Department of Corrections spokeswoman says there are nine sex offenders in Oklahoma nursing homes. Ann Toyer says none of the nine can walk and all are in the final stages of terminal illnesses.

But a nursing home watchdog group contends there are at least 40 sex offenders in state nursing homes.

A Tulsa World investigation last year found at least 18 registered sex offenders living in nursing homes, assisted living centers and homes for the mentally disabled in Oklahoma.

State Representative Doug Cox says lawmakers have to figure out the extent of the problem before considering reforms such as a separate facility for sex offenders who need nursing home care.