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Recently released sex offender back behind bars

Published 5:06pm Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A convicted sex offender who had been out of prison for less than one month is back behind bars after violating terms of his release.

Gerstle Gene Latham, 42, of Clanton was arrested early Wednesday morning and charged with three felonies: failure to register his address with law enforcement, living within 2,000 feet of a child care facility and living in the same residence as a minor.

Clanton Police assisted with the arrest.

Investigator Erric Price with the Chilton County Sheriff’s Department said neighbors alerted authorities to Latham living at an address on Fourth Avenue North in Clanton that was not his registered address (off County Road 16 in unincorporated Chilton County) and was near three child care facilities.

Latham was released from prison in May after serving 20 years for two counts of first-degree sexual abuse and one count of first-degree sodomy. Those crimes were committed against three Chilton County children, Price said.

Latham was believed to have lived with relatives at the residence off Fourth Avenue North for about one week but had not registered the location as his place of residence. Price said authorities determined, based on satellite images, the residence was within 536 feet of Peter Pan child care and about 1,100 feet from Children’s Corner and Riddles and Rhymes.

“He was well within the restricted area,” Price said.

Also, a minor, who was also a relative, lived at the same residence.

Price thanked the neighbors for alerting authorities to the situation. He also encouraged residents to visit the sex offender registry at the Chilton County Sheriff’s Office website, ChiltonCountySO.org. Anyone seeking information about the more than 150 sex offenders in Chilton County can call Price at 755-4698.

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