Three strikes you're out? What it takes to keep repeat sex offender locked up

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Three strikes you're out? What it takes to keep repeat sex offender locked up

By Marcelino Benito. CREATED May 30, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Imagine watching the news when you realize, same photo, same eyes, same man, different store, different kid, your kid.

"He's out there doing the exact same thing to other kids still," said a local mother.

This mother says Schirmer touched her daughter too. It happened five years ago at Target. Schirmer asked the victim, "do you like to be tickled?"

"I started running towards her and said get your hands off my, get your hands off my child," said the mother.

Schirmer, already a level 3 sex offender at the time for sex crimes in Minnesota. In our viewer's case, the perp pleaded guilty to assault and spent 30 days in jail. Later that year, he pleaded guilty to two more counts of assault in a separate case. All of that, before an abduction attempt at a local Dollar Tree.

"I mean how many times does this guy have to be out there, and do the same thing to different people," said the mother.

It's a fair question, we set out to answer.

"It is very difficult to keep them locked up," said Kathy Rau.

Rau is a former TPD child sex crimes detective who's seen scenarios like this far too often.

"I would get a case and read it and say oh that sounds like so and so, I just arrested him, and then you look and the guy is out of jail and it's the same person, that's very frustrating," said Rau.

She says in our system when convicted, sex offenders serve their time, then are released and most get a clean start in society. Schirmer is on lifetime probation, but many others out there like him, are not.

"Sometimes it just takes a couple incidents to stack up those convictions so there can be a significant sentence," said Rau.

And that's what families across Southern Arizona are counting on.

Schirmer is facing aggravated assault and kidnapping charges. Rau says if a jury convicts him his history will definitely factor into his sentence. She says in the end the best thing parents can do is teach their children how to get away.