Convicted sex offender wants to attend son's Little League games - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Convicted sex offender wants to attend son's Little League games

A convicted sex offender wants to be allowed to attend Little League baseball games in Jeffersonville.

Eric Dowdell wants to come to parks to watch his son play baseball, but a city ordinance prohibits him from doing that.

Dowdell was convicted of sexual battery in 1996.  City attorney Larry Wilder says, "Actually, if you check the records you'll see that it was against a young lady who was under the age of 14."

Court records show Dowdell was sentenced to the Indiana Department of Corrections for three years.  His attorney Gavin Rose says, "The fact of the matter is that Mr. Dowdell pleaded guilty to an offense twelve years ago."

Rose says despite the conviction, Dowdell is no longer required to register as a sex offender, and, "has not commited another offense against any child ever."

Dowdell is asking the court for an exemption to a Jeffersonville city ordinance that prohibits sex offenders from entering local parks.  Rose says, "All he wants to do is watch his son play sports."

The exemption would allow Dowdell to attend his son's Little League baseball games.  But Wilder says, "He has been convicted two times since his sex offense conviction of a violent crime, and he has a pending violent cime in Clark Superior Court 3."

Wilder says that behavior should keep Dowdell out of local parks.  But Rose says, "They definitely don't have any bearing as to whether he posses a threat to himself...to others while at the park."

Rose argued in court the privious convictions should not be a factor in the court's decision:  "They are isolated incidents against people with whom he has had at times a rocky relationship with."

Dowdell has already been denied an exemption once.  The judge is expected to rule on this latest case by the end of the day Friday.

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