Moultrie Observer

Local News

December 19, 2012

Sex offender charged with failing to register

MOULTRIE — A sex offender arrested Tuesday on charges from Lowndes County also faces charges in Colquitt County, where he is believed to have lived for half a year without registering.

The Moultrie Police Department took Willie James Lee into custody Tuesday and he was returned to Lowndes County the same day. Lee, 63, who had been living at 619 Third Ave. S.W., is charged there with failure to register as a sex offender.

Police reports said he was arrested at about noon in the 200 block of Second Street Northwest.

He is accused of leaving Lowndes County without notifying the sheriff’s office there within 72 hours before leaving as required by law.

Lee also will be charged with failure to register because he had lived in Moultrie without letting officials here know he was here, said sheriff’s Cpl. Jennifer Gay, whose duties include monitoring sex offenders in the county.

“I have not completed my investigation,” she said. “What I’ve found out so far is he has been in Colquitt County for a good amount of time — at least six months.”

Lee was convicted in 1985 in Tift County on seven counts of child molestation and one count of aggravated child molestation, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections offender database. He was released from prison on Feb. 22, 2007, after serving more than 21 years behind bars.

Lee gave Lowndes County authorities an address for where he would live on Oct. 4, 2011, but when the sheriff’s office checked on Oct. 12 to confirm that address officers found he was not living there, Gay said.

At that time a warrant was issued but Lee was not located until this week.

Gay said that someone apparently tipped police off to Lee’s whereabouts.

Convicted sex offenders are required to notify the sheriff in their home county within 72 hours before moving out of the county, and to report to the sheriff’s office in their new county within that time span after moving.

Gay said that as of Wednesday she has no information that Lee had committed any crimes while in Moultrie.

As of this week there were 125 registered sex offenders in the county, she said.

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