Under a judge’s order, a man who has admitted molesting a boy has posted signs around his house and a decal on his car proclaiming that he is a sex offender.
The hand-painted signs reading “A Sex Offender Lives Here” are posted on all four sides of Leroy Schad’s white house in this central Kansas town of only about 150 people. His vehicle has a large decal with bold yellow lettering reading “Sex Offender In This Car.”
Schad, 72, was originally charged with four counts of taking indecent liberties with a 9-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy in 2005. He was allowed to plead guilty in March 2007 to a lesser charge of aggravated indecent solicitation of a child, and the original charges were dismissed.
District Judge Ron Svaty sentenced him to five years of probation and house arrest, and ordered him to post the signs during his punishment.
Schad is appealing the sign requirement. He could have faced about three years behind bars.
“I know that I deserve something for that, but I don’t think I deserve what I got,” he said.
The signs went up a few months ago. Schad said the loneliness and isolation imposed by the house arrest are the toughest to deal with.
“It’s been pure hell,” said Schad, who has lived in the town since 1971.
Svaty declined to comment on his ruling, citing Kansas rules of judicial conduct.
Defense attorney Joel Jackson would not comment beyond saying the signs were the judge’s idea.
Ron Keefover, spokesman for the Kansas Supreme Court, said he could not remember any other sex offense case with similar conditions.
“I’m sure there is nothing specifically that says a court may sentence in this manner, but I think that the court has latitude in terms of the conditions it sets,” said Helen Pedigo, executive director of the Kansas Sentencing Commission.
Neighbor Pete Witt said Shad does not create any problems.
“We have a lot more troubles with drugs in this town than we ever did with Leroy Schad,” Witt said.
Schad admitted that he molested the boy but denied the other allegations. He said he took the plea deal to spare the children the ordeal of testifying and to “get this over with.”