Sex offender gets three years for living near schools

Sex offender gets three years for living near schools

URBANA — A registered sex offender found near two Champaign schools was sentenced Thursday to three years in prison.

Grover Bennett, 47, of Champaign pleaded guilty to violating the terms of his sex-offender registration.

He admitted that on the morning of Dec. 7, he was at a home in the 800 block of Harvard Street after having been told he could not live there because it is within 500 feet of both Judah Christian School and Franklin Middle School.

Assistant State's Attorney Toby Ortega said when Bennett was arrested at the home on Harvard, he was on probation for a 2016 conviction for failure to register as a sex offender.

Bennett is required to register as a sex offender because of a 2008 conviction for aggravated criminal sexual abuse for having sex with a teenage girl.

Ortega said both Bennett's probation officer and the sex-registration clerk at the Champaign Police Department informed him he couldn't live in the Harvard house because of its proximity to the schools. As a sex offender, he is not supposed to be within 500 feet of a school where children under 18 are present.

Ortega said Bennett initially denied that he lived there and said he was just waiting for a ride. However, his GPS monitor showed he had been there for at least four consecutive nights, Ortega said.

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