Sex offender arrested after claim he was homeless

- A sex offender from Orange County, who claimed he was homeless, is now in jail.   

Registered sex offender Stacy Mercer was arrested on molestation charges in Casselberry, where he was living among children. 

"He has been living there for quite some time. They're a close neighbor and had interacted multiple times in the past," said Commander Mike Schaefer of the Casselberry Police Department. 

Casselberry Police say Mercer should never have been living in Seminole County in the first place, because he is registered to live in Orange County.

Orange County deputies say they often check on sex offenders, but since Mercer followed procedure by checking in once a month and telling them he was homeless, living in Orange County rather than Seminole County, they did not track him down.

Schaefer said, "He looked like he was doing what he was supposed to be doing, but unfortunately, he was violating the law."

"Terrible situation. Terrible for everybody involved," said State Senator Linda Stewart Stewart, D-Orlando.  "I do need to find out if there's any way the state could help the sheriff's department in the situation where it is right now, which is not the best of circumstances."

Deputies say the majority of sex offenders in Orange County are homeless. Mercer now faces charges for violating the sex offender registration. 

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