SHALLOTTE, NC (WWAY) — Almost every day, our Kevin Wuzzardo RANTs about hot topics in the the area, and we always invite you to send in your own RANTs. Well, one concerned RANTer was worried about a sex offender living in a Brunswick County church.
No one wants to hear that a sex offender lives next door, but what about above the sanctuary at your church? A concerned citizen in Brunswick County contacted WWAY about registered sex offender Michael Butler staying on the second floor of a church in Shallotte.
Indeed, a Department of Justice website listed Butler’s address as 791 Bricklanding Road. That’s the same address as Open Door Baptist Ministries Church.
Pastor Larry Shreve said Butler did stay at the church, but he was always monitored.
“Any time that there were children in the church, we knew where he was,” Shreve said. “He was not allowed to be upstairs at any time during church services, and we closely supervised him.”
Shreve says after finding out what Butler’s offense was, he felt it was not an issue for Butler to stay at the church.
“Before he moved in here, we made sure that he never had any contact with children,” Shreve said. “His offense was a computer offense.”
In 2009 Butler was convicted of second degree sexual exploitation of a minor. State law says that means he had child pornography.
Shreve said Butler stayed at the church for three months and was closely monitored by his probation officer.
Erica Smith handles sex offenders for the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office. She said it’s not uncommon for sex offenders to stay at churches if they are otherwise homeless.
“We do have several sex offenders, and they’re required to give us the general area that they are sleeping,” Smith said. “If they are sleeping under a bridge, they are to tell us they are sleeping under Isabella Holmes Bridge or whatever.”
So, what should you know about sex offenders in your area? First of all you can log on to http://sexoffender.ncdoj.gov, search an address and the sex offenders in your area will come up on a map. Smith said she updates the website as soon as she gets new information on offenders.
This afternoon the Department of Justice website updated with a new address for Butler: the Brunswick County Jail. The sheriff’s office says Butler’s been in since yesterday on two probation violations, but it could say what those violations were.