Daleville homeowners leave unwelcome mat for potential new neigh - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Daleville homeowners leave unwelcome mat for potential new neighbor

Some Daleville homeowners have left out several unwelcome mats for a potential new neighbor.

Approximately one dozen signs dot street corners, mailboxes, and yards at Botetourt County's Ashley Plantation.

The signs are copies of the Virginia Sex Offender Registry, featuring the page of a registered sex offender named Calvert Thompson.

Red print on the signs says Thompson might be moving into a home in the neighborhood currently under construction.

Thompson, currently a Roanoke resident, could not be reached for comment.

Botetourt County commonwealth's attorney Joel Branscom confirmed a Virginia state police officer contacted him last week about the signs, asking if the signs fell in the legal definition of harassment.

It is against state law to harass people listed on the Virginia Sex Offender registry.

"I don't think [it's] harassment," Branscom said.

Branscom said he drove out to Ashley Plantation and looked at the signs late last week.

"Everybody has rights and [neighbors in Ashley Plantation] have First Amendment rights," Branscom said.

Court records in the civil division of Roanoke Circuit Court show the Virginia Attorney General's office filed papers to civilly commit Thompson in late 2011, about eleven months after he finished a three year prison sentence for raping a stripper in Roanoke in 2007.

Court papers show a jury found Thompson to be a "sexually violent predator" in February of last year.

The records outline Thompson's criminal history outside of Virginia, including a near five year prison stint in Tennessee between 2001 and 2006 after he violated his probation.

Thompson was put on probation after a sexual battery conviction in Tennessee in August, 2000.

The court papers claim Thompson committed the Roanoke rape only a year and a half after being released from a Tennessee prison.

A report from a pair of mental health professionals who interviewed Thompson in 2012 claims he is a "moderate to high risk" to sexually reoffend.

A check of local court filings showed no alleged offenses after Thompson was released from prison in Virginia in January, 2011.

He has a 47 year prison sentence hanging over his head if he ever reoffends and will be on supervised probation for the next three decades.

State law does not prevent Thompson from living in Ashley Plantation, Branscom said.

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