'Get your hands off my child!': Mom recognizes convicted sex offender

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'Get your hands off my child!': Mom recognizes convicted sex offender

By Kevin Keen. CREATED May 30, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A convicted sex offender is behind bars, but that's little comfort for one Southern Arizonan mother. She's glad police have arrested 51-year-old William Schirmer after investigators reported he tried to kidnap a little girl. But she's seen this before -- only to find that same man back on the street.

This week, according to Tucson Police, Schirmer tickled and tried to abduct a 9-year-old girl in a store. The next day, a clerk at that midtown dollar store recognized Schirmer and called 911. Police quickly arrested the level-three sex offender, recommending charges of kidnapping, attempted kidnapping and aggravated assault.

The news horrified one 9 On Your Side viewer, who did not want to give her name nor show her face.

"I was in shock that he did the same exact thing," the woman said.

She described what happened to her daughter in the toy aisle at a northwest side Target years ago: "As I was coming around, I saw a man approach her, lean down and touch her waist. Immediately, I started running towards her and said, 'Get your hands off my child!'"

Police records show that man was also Schirmer, and the 5-year-old told police at the time he'd asked her, "Do you like to be tickled?"

"That was exactly what happened on the news this morning," she said. "He's out there doing the exact same thing to other kids."

At that time -- five years ago -- Schirmer was already a "registered sex offender" for past crimes, according to a police report.

In that case, Schirmer was charged with misdemeanor assault. He pleaded guilty and spent 30 days in jail, according to the Marana Police Department.

That same year he pleaded guilty to two other counts of assault in a separate case, court records show.

Then, years later, he served 1.5 years in prison for a case of aggravated assault.

"How many years later, this man is still out on the street and he's still doing the exact same thing," said the woman. "It hasn't stopped."

With such a rap sheet and more crimes in other states like Minnesota, the woman wanted to know: What will it take to keep this man behind bars?

The Pima County Attorney's Office couldn't accommodate 9 On Your Side's request for an interview Thursday.

9 On Your Side asked a former police detective for her perspective on the issue.

Schirmer is on lifetime parole, according to the county attorney's office. He's also homeless and so has to and has been checking in every 90 days with an updated area of town where he lives, according to TPD. The intersection of Kino and Ajo is listed in recent records.

9 On Your Side also looked in to what parents and kids can learn from the attempted abduction earlier this week.


Web producer: Rikki Mitchell