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High risk sex offender meeting set

The presence of a high risk, Level 3, sex offender in the community has prompted Island County Sheriff Mark Brown to call a public meeting for Tuesday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. at the Cornet Bay Learning Center, 400 W. Cornet Bay Road.

Brown, North Precinct deputies and other officials will answer the public’s questions about Devin Jeffrey Ness, 20, who has moved to a location on the 4600 block of Park Acres Drive on North Whidbey Island.

Ness was a 17-year-old when he engaged a non-familial 11-year-old female in an inappropriate relationship. He was convicted in Island County of “communication with a minor for immoral purposes” on Jan. 14, 2005. Ness has completed all supervision related to his sex crime conviction.

A news release from the Sheriff’s Office states that Ness’ Level 3 classification is based on his history, other assessments, and the offender’s lack of residence. Ness is required to register with the Sheriff’s Office in the county of his residence for 10 years, or until relieved by the courts of the duty to do so.

Ness’ criminal record also includes convictions for residential burglary in 2005, third degree theft in 2004 and fourth degree assault in 2005, all in Island County.

Brown emphasizes that Ness is not a wanted man.

“This offender has served the sentence imposed by the courts and is not wanted by law enforcement at this time,” Brown said. “Law enforcement agencies do not have legal authority to direct where an offender lives.”

Those attending Tuesday’s meeting will learn about this state’s sexual offender and registration laws and be able to voice concerns about local law enforcement issues and talk about how they can help the Sheriff’s Office keep their neighborhoods safe.

Brown offers two basic safety rules to practice:

1. Always know the whereabouts of your children.

2. Small children should never be left alone.

“Please talk with your children about the importance of these rules,” Brown said. “Teach your children to not go with anyone, unless they have first checked with you. If a stranger or friend pressures your child, teach your youngster to refuse, and seek help.”

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