Neighbors React to Sex Offender's Arrest

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The neighbors of 25 year old Earl Dean Raff Jr. say they are glad that he is off their street and in the Mesa County Jail. They are concerned with the fact that a registered sex offender lived on their street and many of them didn't know it.

"It bothers me very much," said Larry Lee, who lives a few houses down from Raff. "I've got all of my grand kids here, there's other kids who live here, and there's getting to be more young couples with kids."

Raff was arrested last night at his home on Bing Lane. His neighbors say they had heard rumors that he was a sex offender, but wished they would have known more about the circumstances.

Raff was convicted of sexually assaulting a member of his family in 1999. He was also arrested in 2001 for failing to register as an offender.

"Everybody should be able to know," said Lee. "Me, and anybody else -- even if they don't have kids -- should be aware of what's in their neighborhood."

Authorities say although he was a known sex offender, Raff was able to find ways to gain people's trust.

"It's disheartening among other things," said Mesa County Sheriff's Spokesperson Heather Benjamin. "He had shared with his family and friends that he had simply dated someone who was younger than him when he was sixteen and that was the reason he registered as a sex offender."

The Mesa County Sheriff's Office reminds residents that the sex offender registry is public information, and that anyone can look that information up.

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