Officer fails to check background of sex offender - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Officer fails to check background of sex offender

June 20, 2005

Americus-- The actions of an police officer may have caused a sex offender to be released from jail too soon after attacking a woman.

Fred Revels, 32, was arrested on May 12, the day after he got out of Georgia State Prison at Reidsville after serving five years for child molestation.

Police say he attacked a nurse at Sumter Regional Hospital. The officer who arrested him didn't run a background check.

"At this point, all we know is that a GCIC wasn't conducted by our office, therefore the information wasn't presented to the magistrate court which probably would have made a difference in the bond," said Investigator Richard McCorkle with the Americus Police Department.

The GCIC stands for Georgia Crime Information Center, a resource that should always be used by law enforcement officers during an arrest. It's standard operating procedure, McCorkle said.

"We do that so we can check to see if somebody is wanted out of another county or if there's something in their past criminal history that needs to be brought to the attention of a judge," he said.

Revels was charged with simple battery. He was released on bond the next day because a magistrate court judge wasn't told about his criminal history.

The Americus Police Chief is looking into the matter, according to McCorkle.

Not only is Revels a convicted child molester, but according to the documents at the Clerk of Superior Courts in Americus, the judge also sentenced him to 15 years of probation, another fact that may have kept him in jail after the first recent attack.

But Americus police say the information they have shows he served his full sentence and is not on probation. They also say he continued causing trouble.

Police say almost five weeks after Revels was released from prison and attacked the nurse, he struck again. He's accused of attacking a woman who was walking her dog in the 1000 block of South Lee Street.

Officers say many sex offenders do become repeat offenders, but not usually in the first day.

"Twenty-four hours from being released from the Department of Corrections and committed his first crime. That in itself is unusual, but there is a high recidivism rate with most offenders," McCorkle said.

Revels may face even more charges. Police are taking evidence to the district attorney that shows he may have tried to entice some children off of a trampoline, recently.

He didn't register in Sumter County as a sex offender, either. He registered in Decatur County, but did give his Americus address. According to the law, sex offenders have 10 days to register in the county where they live.

Investigator McCorkle also says a mental evaluation is likely to be conducted on Revels.

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