Registered sex offender accused of raping woman at Columbus park

U.S. & World

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Columbus police say a 57-year-old homeless man kidnapped and raped a woman last weekend at Scioto Audubon Park just south of downtown. Bond for David Shearer was set at $500,000 during his first court appearance Wednesday morning.

Park rangers spotted Shearer with a naked woman about 9am Saturday morning. The victim told police she was choked, forced to disrobe and had her hands tied with surgical tubing that Shearer had been using as a belt.

Shearer is on the Ohio Sex Offender Registry but since  2002, he has been charged with failing to properly register his address five times and was convicted of gross sexual imposition in 2016.

In 2004 he wrote a letter to the judge pleading that he not be sent back to prison. “Please, just one last chance out there while alert and awake like I am now,” he wrote. “I promise not to to disappoint you.”

The criminal complaint lists Shearer’s address as “streets of Columbus.”

Lt. Andy Eing at the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office says it’s a challenge keeping up with homeless sex offenders. said.  “We have a population of anywhere between 90 to 100 homeless sex offenders on any given day,” Eing said. “You don’t have a door to go up and knock on so you have to find the location where they’re sleeping and verify them that way,”

Lt. Eing says the system puts the burden on sex offenders to let the sheriff’s office know exactly where they are staying. “Whether they go from a house to homeless or from homeless to a house or from a house to house, it’s their duty to notify us immediately that they’ve changed addresses,” Eing said.

Shearer is set for another court appearance on March 20.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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