Column: Updated press release from Robinson on State of AL vs. Tyrone Bennett

Published 3:35 pm Thursday, June 8, 2023

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From 19th Judicial Circuit District Attorney C.J. Robinson

On Tuesday, June 6, 2023, District Attorney for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit CJ Robinson appeared in Jefferson County Circuit Court requesting Judge Kandice Pickett amend her previous order directing Tyrone Bennett to be placed at the Carastar facility at 425 Pratt St in Prattville. Today, June 8, 2023, Jefferson County Circuit Judge Kandice Pickett issued an amended order granting the request of DA Robinson. Prattville PD testified and provided documentation of nearly 20 calls responded to for Carastar residents walking off the grounds of the facility. Three walk-off incidents occurred in 2023 alone. The order states, “That does not evidence to this Court the ability to provide “24/7 wake staff supervision over the Defendant”.

Tyrone Bennett is a registered sex offender who has a total of eight prior felonies in Jefferson County (including the Rape of a Child less than 12 years of age; the Sodomy of a Child less than 12 years of age; and the Sexual Abuse of a Child less than 12 years of age; and multiple convictions for failing to comply with the registration and notifications requirements of the SORNA Act). 425 Pratt Street, Prattville, AL is within hundreds of feet of schools, parks, churches, daycares, playgrounds, the city pool, the splash pad, and numerous other things SORNA exists to protect from lurking sex offenders.

“I am so thankful for Judge Pickett and her willingness to listen to those of us who know this area and know the struggles law enforcement has encountered with Carastar. Jefferson County should be in good hands with her. Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr welcomed us with open arms, supported us, and helped facilitate the process. I am surprised that the Alabama Department of Mental Health recommended Bennett be placed at the Prattville location in the first place and extremely disappointed they continue to oppose us in our attempts to prevent a child rapist from being placed at an address that can’t supervise its residents located with over 25 places that are entitled to SORNA protection around it. This is a target-rich environment of children, and I will continue to do everything within my power to protect our children. My children were at the park across the street yesterday. If a child rapist had been allowed to sit on his front porch and watch them, they wouldn’t have been allowed to go. That is what I’m fighting for…public safety.”

There remains a TRO (temporary restraining order) in place after DA Robinson filed for and obtained one before 19th Circuit Presiding Judge Bill Lewis. There will be future hearings in that case as DA Robinson seeks to expand the prohibition beyond any one single defendant and have the Carastar facility declared as not being compliant with SORNA and therefore, not proper for the residency of any sex offender.