Crime

Man with repeated convictions faces trial after being found sleeping in Richland park

A convicted sex offender who's considered highly likely to reoffend was found sleeping in a Richland park, even though he's been barred from all public places where children gather.

Leeshawn Anthony Butcher, 33, pleaded innocent in Benton County Superior Court to criminal trespass against children. His trial is set for Oct. 20.

Butcher was convicted in 1998, 2000 and 2002 of communication with a minor for immoral purposes, Herald records show. All three convictions were in Benton County.

His convictions also include failing to register as a sex offender in 2006 and 2010.

Butcher has been classified as a Level III sex offender, which means there is a high risk of him committing another sex crime.

Butcher has been banned from all public parks, schools, pools and libraries in Benton and Franklin counties, court documents said. Those documents have been served on him and he signed an agreement that he would comply with the orders under state law, documents said.

But on Aug. 22, a Richland officer found Butcher sleeping on the grass in Rodney Block Park, formerly known as Roberdeau Park.

In court documents, Butcher claims that he lives on Roberdeau Street. However, the Benton County Sheriff's Office's OffenderWatch website lists him as a transient.

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