Registered sex offender lives feet from school legally

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SAVOY, Tex. (KXII) -- A Fannin County town is up in arms after they learned a registered sex offender has moved in directly across the street from an elementary school.

30 year old Shane Dodson is a registered sex offender through Fannin County, convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl in 2011.

He served seven years in state prison.

Now, he lives in Savoy.

"Twenty five feet from the school. Literally the crosswalk goes to his front yard and it really made a lot of parents nervous," said Michael Roche, a concerned parent.

Though Dodson tells us moved to Savoy in February, parents found out about his past just a few weeks ago.

They say they want something done about it.

"The gentleman is in compliance with everything he's supposed to do and notifying. He came in and registered and he does it annually and does everything he's supposed to do," said Fannin County Sheriff Mark Johnson.

Dodson lives at the house with a woman he calls his cousin, her four children, his mother and his brother.

They say they are never concerned about the safety of the kids there.

"Before they can say bad things about him they just need to know the facts before they judge him," said Darla Hill, Dodson's Mother.

The city does have an ordinance restricting registered sex offenders from living so close to a child safety zone -- like the school -- but police chief Carl Harrell says it's unenforceable.

A local attorney we spoke with says one reason is the state of Texas passed a law in 2017 requiring cities with ordinances restricting where people can live to provide an appeals process.

Savoy's current ordinance does not do that.

"If you write one today, anybody that lives there is grandfathered in. The law doesn't apply to them," said Johnson.

Harrell says the city attorney will be at the June council meeting to talk about the new ordinance they are working on to make sure this doesn't happen again.

"Pretty much right now it seems like all we can do about it is voice our disapproval of it and get the information out there to as many as necessary and maybe he'll do the right thing and decide do move," said Roche.

Dodson's family says they're not going anywhere.

"Nope, we gonna fight this," said Hill.

Concerned parents say they'll be there -- every day -- until school gets out on May 30.

"We watch them him like hawks and that's what we do. Every afternoon when school gets out he's sitting out front," said Melissa Roche, a concerned parent.

A photo taken by one of the parents shows the man they claim is Shane Dodson sitting on his porch as kids get out of school.

We talked to Dodson, he didn't want to speak on camera.

But he tells us the man in the photo is his brother.

He says since he moved to Savoy, he hasn't spoken to anyone.

"He doesn't cross over and we don't cross over. We stay to ourselves," said Melissa Roche.

"He's not a predator. He's not what people thinks he is. He served his time and he should be able to live where he wants and with peace," said Hill.