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County looking for sex offender

Gorden
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

Robert Gorden managed to get away in his last reported scrape with Nevada County law enforcement.

On May 2, 2001, Gorden stole a 1965 Dodge Dart on San Juan Ridge after failing to meet with his parole agent and sped away down Tyler Foote Road, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The 50-year-old fugitive is regarded as among the most dangerous among the county’s 174 registered sex offenders – several of which are considered noncompliant.



Authorities across California have been checking such figures after the Associated Press recently reported that at least 39 percent – or 27,577 of the state’s 70,630 ex-cons required to register in the state – might be out of compliance.

Out of another 5,719 offenders, many never registered after leaving prison, and most of them haven’t been heard of since 1995, AP reported after a lengthy investigation.




Nevada County officials claim their numbers aren’t quite so dramatic.

Sheriff Keith Royal said his office tracks 119 offenders in the county’s unincorporated areas. Of those, four are not compliant for failing to follow registration laws.

Among them is Gorden, also known as Robert A. Gordon, whose “extensive history of law enforcement contact” includes arrests for rape and kidnapping, Royal said. The other three offenders possibly moved within the county or moved out of the county without notifying Royal’s office, which in either case is required by law.

That means the opposite could also apply – offenders from other counties could flee to here without local law enforcement knowing.

Grass Valley has files on 36 offenders, three of whom are out of compliance, Grass Valley Police Chief John Foster said. Of the three, one is a 70-something man living in a retirement home and the other is mentally ill and living in a group home.

The third offender, 44-year-old child molester John Adam Chandler, faces an arrest warrant that was issued in January 2001, Foster said. Investigators believe he might have left the county.

Nevada City Police Chief Lou Trovato’s department keeps tabs on three serious offenders, he said. He didn’t note that any were out of compliance.

The state has three classifications for sex offenders – high risk, serious and “other,” and most fall under the serious category.

The “other” category generally applies in misdemeanor battery, indecent exposure and pornography cases, Royal said.

The sheriff said his office has no registered high-risk offenders – whose offenses involve violence or a combination of other offenses such as burglary.

All but “other” offenders are listed in the sheriff’s Megan’s Law computer, which lists offenders by ZIP code and provides their mug shots, crimes of conviction, heights, weights and other physical descriptions. It doesn’t provide their street address.

The computer is available to the public during business hours, and Royal said two to four people a week use it.

Megan’s Law is named after 7-year-old Megan Kanka, a New Jersey girl who was raped and killed by a child molester across the street.


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