News that a sexually violent predator had moved to Lamar brought close to 100 citizens to an informational meeting at the Cultural Events Center this past Tuesday evening, September 27. Rodger A. Aldridge, age 31, was convicted of attempted sex assault on a female when she was under 15 years of age. The incident occurred in the area in 2005 and Aldridge is serving the remainder of his sentence under parole supervision. He is currently residing at 719 East Elm Street and is employed in Lamar. Aldridge has no family ties to the community and no relatives in Colorado, as such; the court decided he would be relocated to this area.
The Lamar Police Department, District Attorney’s office, Parole Officer and Victim’s Assistance personnel detailed a summary of the conditions in which sex offenders must comply. The most basic is a lifetime registration and quarter-year updates on their residence for the most severe offenders. Aldridge will wear a GPS tracking device and undergo weekly therapy sessions in La Junta until the remainder of his sentence has been served, according to Lamar Police Officer Sgt Kevin Ridder, to the end of this year. During that time, he will be under the weekly supervision of Parole Officer Tracy Nelson. After that, he will be free to come and go as he pleases in the community or move to another area. He will be directed to keep away from areas in which children congregate as well as schools, parks or library. Ridder cautioned the gathering about a vigilante mentality or harassing Aldridge. He said the best results can come from leaving a predator alone instead of actions which can drive them underground or inhibit them from registering. He added, it’s better to have them located in a known area instead of being homeless and not receiving any form of treatment.
According to the police, there are 16 registered sex offenders in Lamar and eleven in Prowers County as well as three who have not registered. Citizens who wish additional information can access the Prowers County Sheriff’s website or go online at www.sor.state.co.us and follow the appropriate links.
By Russ Baldwin