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Murphy's Law: Sex Offender Can't Find a Legal Place to Live in Broward

The more we learn about Ronald Murphy's case, the sadder it is. We first told you about him last week. Then we met the man this weekend. And yesterday a source with knowledge of the case told us that Murphy's stuck living on a bench in Delray Beach, in part, because his family in Broward County has refused to let him live with them.

But mostly, he's stuck there because he's registered not just as a sexual offender but as a sexual "predator" -- meaning he gets a super-sized batch of statutory restrictions. Read them here if you've got an hour to kill.

He can't live within 1,000 feet of a school bus stop, a provision designed to keep him away from children, even though the crime that got him in this predicament was the rape of an adult woman he met in a public park.

Murphy has no money, so building an estate in Southwest Ranches -- or some similarly rural section of Broward -- is not an option. It's "nearly impossible" to find a legal location in the county for guys like Murphy to live, says the source (who asked not to be named) especially since neighborhoods that contain appropriate halfway houses have a way of suddenly building playgrounds in parks, whereby they disqualify themselves from being an area where offenders can live legally, which is what happened at one potential location, Fort Lauderdale's Mission of St. Francis.

So that puts Murphy squarely in no-man's-land: the bench outside his probation officer's office in Delray Beach.

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Thomas Francis

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