Lakeside neighbors react to sex offender in neighborhood

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – People living in a Lakeside neighborhood say they are concerned about the release of a registered sex-offender.

Many of the residents learned about the offender via social media.

There are 4,500 registered sex offenders that live in San County, and the 33-year-old man who’s been living in a Lakeside house is one of them.

His name is Lee Austin, and on Saturday, he will be released from jail, after serving two months behind bars for violating parole.

Neighbors like Kelli Bailey say the are worried about the potential threat of a sex offender in their midst.

They learned about his released through social media, but some other facts were not included.

The sex offense that sent Austin to prison occurred 13 years ago, in 2001. He has been living in the community ever since, and according to the task force that monitors sex offenders, he has been living in a Lakeside neighborhood since last August.

Kelly Bailey and other parents say they had no idea Lee had been in the neighborhood since last year, and living right across the street from Lakeview Elementary School.

Megan Law’s website states that Lee was convicted of lewd and lascivious acts with someone under 14, when he was 20-years-old.

The site also says he is a level one risk, the lowest rating for risk.

The idea that sex offenders can’t live near schools or parks is a restriction that only applies to some offenders, not some like Austin.

Because of constitutional challenges, the restrictions are not in forced in many counties, including San Diego.

That leaves worried parents like Kelly relying on the word of law enforcement to keep an eye on the people they do not trust.

Community members can consult Megan’s Law website.

Neighbors can and should be wary, take precautions, while keeping a cool head and not reacting just out of fear.

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