Convicted child molester moves next door to victim: Could this happen in Virginia?

RICHMOND, Va. -- In a story that made national headlines, an Oklahoma woman says the man who was convicted of molesting her when she was a little girl now lives next door.

Harold English was convicted of molesting his niece, Danyelle Dyer when she was just seven years old.

The family says English recently got out of prison and moved in with his mother which happens to be next door to Dyer's home.

“He’s like right there, practically in my backyard and that kind of makes me nervous and not want to go home ever,” 21-year-old Danyelle Dyer told KFOR.

Danyelle Dyer

This case made some viewers question. “Could it happen in Virginia?”

According to CBS 6 Legal Analyst Todd Stone, a situation like this could happen in Virginia. But he says there are things victims can do to protect themselves.

"There’s nothing in the sex offender registry that would prevent a sex offender from moving next door to a victim, but there are things that a victim can do when they're dealing with a prosecutor on a case like this because a prosecutor can build in certain conditions into a plea agreement,” said Stone.

CBS 6 Legal Analyst Todd Stone

Stone says in Virginia sex offenders can’t live within a certain distance from schools and daycares, as for residences, he says that’s the reason for the sex offender registry.

"So the adults in the house can look at the registry and have notice on where sex offenders live but it doesn’t restrict them that specifically,” he said.

As for Danyelle Dyer, she and her family say they want the law changed.

“It’s adding one word in there where it talks, where they can and can’t live, just adding ‘victim’ right there along with schools and playgrounds,” she said.