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Screven Co. sex offender back in jail
Suspect deemed 'low risk' to repeat crime in 2013
David Warren Lee

A Screven County man who was removed from the registered sex offender's list three years ago was arrested a second time Monday on child molestation charges.

David Warren Lee, 76, of Whitehill Road in Sylvania, awaits court hearings while being detained in the Screven County Jail regarding new accusations of child molestation, said Screven County Sheriff Mike Kile.

Previously, Lee completed 10 years of probation and was listed as a sex offender during that time after a 2003 child molestation conviction, according to records from the Screven County clerk's office.

Reports provided by the jail Thursday did not include details of the recent allegations of child molestation except that the victim is a juvenile.

Lee was removed in 2013 from the sex offender registry due to his poor health and after being deemed unlikely to repeat the crime of which he was convicted 10 years before, according to court documents.

The Sexual Offender Registration Review Board classified Lee as "low risk" on March 3, 2013, after he appealed to the board to be removed from the registry.

Lee entered an Alford plea to child molestation charges in May 2003 and was sentenced to 10 years' probation, 150 to 210 days in a detention center, and other penalties including being listed as a registered sex offender. He completed his mandated punishments, and his probation was terminated in August 2011, according to court records.

The court documents regarding his appeal to be removed from the registry state that the review board found Lee to be a low risk because "the defendant is 72 years old, in poor health, suffering from vertigo, diabetes, depression, blood pressure problems, cholesterol problems, and uses a breathing machine." The document states Lee "drives very little," is dependent on his spouse and is disabled.

Georgia law allows for such appeals if all legal and punitive matters are resolved, according to the court documents.

"This court finds by a preponderance of evidence that the petitioner does not pose a substantial risk of committing any future dangerous sexual offense," the order states.

Lee was released from the sex offender registry on June 27, 2013.

Kile said on Thursday that no court date has been set for Lee and that the case remains under investigation.

Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.



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