Sex offender still lives next door to his 10-year-old victim

A father is upset that the chain link fence is the only thing separating his family from the man who plead guilty to sexually soliciting his 10-year-old daughter.

Kerry Dane Marlowe was convicted of Criminal Solicitation of a Minor for an incident that occurred at the fence.

As part of his probation, Marlowe isn't allowed to have contact with Smith or his family.

"There is no law that restricts him from living next door to his victim," Candice Lively, who prosecuted the case for the Horry County Solicitor's Office says.

"It's simply intolerable. It's nothing any family should ever have to go through," Chris Smith, the victim's father said.

The victim was near the Marlowe's fence playing with his cat when he approached her from his yard back in October 2011.

Marlowe tried to convince the 10-year-old to come into his yard, she refused, and she started talking about how she had so many mosquito bites from playing in her yard, according to a police report.

"The suspect told the victim he had special lotion he could rub on her bites numerous times and offered to rub in the lotion if she came over to the house. The Victim then commented on how the cat was trying lick her like a puppy dog would when the suspect asked if he could lick the victim also," the report said.

Police also said Marlowe kissed the girl on the lips and exposed his "private parts" to her.

At a probation hearing before his sentencing, a judge ordered Marlowe to wear an ankle bracelet and stay at least a mile away from the neighborhood, according to Smith. But when he pleaded guilty to criminal solicitation of a minor and was sentenced to four years' probation and to stay at least 30 feet from Smith's daughter.

"I wish he would have come in. At the time, these are things I could have addressed with him and we could have done something about it right now. But in the long run, he's got property next door I can't change that, I can not make him sell his property. That was an issue throughout the case I even discussed it with his (Marlowe's) defense attorney."

He needs to sell that house and get out of there. He is putting himself in a situation where he could get accused of doing something again. It's better off for everybody to move. It was just a bad situation all the way around," Lively said. "It's really important for people, especially victims and victims parents to know you immediately get in contact with our office with something like this because there are no laws that control where the sex offender lives."

Lively, who heads up cases that involve child abuse and criminal sexual conduct cases for the solicitors office adds she would love for there to be a law on the books that protects victims from there offender that might live next door.

South Carolina has laws that restrict sex offenders living near public places like beaches, parks, and schools. However, there is no law that would separate Marlowe and Smith.

South Carolina Senator Luke Rankin says he's been researching for about a week to see if there is any state with such a law that would make it illegal for a sex offender to live next door to their victim.

He says he's not sure if it could be written into a bill, make it out of a subcommittee, or make it to a law. Rankin says balance for both the victims' rights and a sex offenders constitutional rights would be imperative for anything to make it through.

"There will be a protection of both the victim who we are most concerned about and her family. As well as the criminals constitutional rights, again they can't be ignored and that is the balance we have to strike here."

"This is a serious short fall in our system of justice and I would welcome a law in our state that would prevent this from ever happening again. It would give all prosecutors the leverage to reassure victims that a conviction for a sexual offense will guarantee the perpetrator cannot live next door to that victim," Lively said.