Judge orders homeless sex offender's release

Associated Press
Published October 7, 2005

DAYTONA BEACH - A state Department of Corrections policy of re-arresting sex offenders for not securing an acceptable address before leaving prison violates a constitutional right to liberty, a judge ruled.

Circuit Judge Joseph Will ordered Christopher Daughtry, 34, freed on probation, even if he is homeless.

"When a man, even a sex offender, has served his time and thereby paid his debt to society, it is fundamentally unfair to artfully devise rules that make it impossible for him to function or to even be released from incarceration," Will said Wednesday.

Daughtry had been jailed since Aug. 6 because he could not find a place to live after serving a seven-year state prison sentence for attempting to force a 14-year-old girl into having sex.

Will ordered him to wear a location-tracking monitor until he finds housing, and to contact probation officers daily.

Prosecutor Phil Havens said he would recommend appealing the ruling.