ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)– Some convicted sex offenders have filed a lawsuit against the City of Englewood. They claim the city’s zoning ordinances leave them without a place to live.
Alison Ruttenberg, an attorney representing the sex offenders, claims only one percent of the city is available to sex offenders, typically located in industrial areas.
“Most of my clients have struggled to rehabilitate themselves because it’s so hard to get a job, it’s so hard to find housing,” said Ruttenberg.
According to Englewood, convicted sex offenders are not allowed to live near schools or places where kids might play.
“They’ve gone through the treatment, they’ve been punished, many of them have spent many years in prison,” said Ruttenberg.
Ruttenberg filed a lawsuit against the city that challenges Englewood’s sex offender registry restrictions, which she claims makes living in their own home illegal.
“Everybody has this incorrect notion that all sex offenders are pedophiles, all sex offenders are creepy, all sex offenders are dangerous… when that’s just not true,” said Ruttenberg.
She argues that the repeat offender rate for sexual offenders is less than one percent compared to other felons.
“They allow paroled murderers, burglars, drug dealers, extortionists, people convicted of child abuse and neglect and drunk drivers who kill many more children in Colorado than sex offenders do, they allow them in their neighborhood,” said Ruttenberg.
The City of Englewood did not return calls to CBS4 for comment on the lawsuit.