Lawton_Lawton Police say they've caught a convicted sex offender living just one block from Lincoln Elementary School. On top of that, 43-year-old Patrick Gilbo failed to register as an offender when he relocated to Lawton from Missouri in December. Gilbo served time in a New York prison after being convicted of raping two young boys - aged nine and thirteen.
The woman who maintains the property where Gilbo lives says she has been sick to her stomach ever since she found out. She asked that we keep her identity anonymous, but says Gilbo and his son were homeless, so she took them in. She says she had no idea he was a convicted sex offender.
When Lawton Police were called to the residence for a disturbance, Gilbo admitted to being a sex offender - he raped two young boys in New York. "This is a prime example of somebody that has gotten through the system and snuck through the cracks living right here in Lawton, OK, and we had no idea he was here," says Detective Nancy Lombardo with the Lawton Police Department. "He's one of our bad offenders, and we need to know that he's here."
Since Gilbo never registered as an offender once he moved from Missouri, authorities weren't aware of his presence. "You know, it's just a fluke that the officers happened to make a disturbance call to make contact with him, or we would have never known he was in here Lawton," says Lombardo.
But, the crimes don't stop at failing to register. Sex offenders can't live within 2,000 feet of a school, park, or daycare - Gilbo lived within range of all three. His house is just behind Lincoln Elementary. Many of the neighborhood children walk in the alleyway to go to school every day, and walked right past where Gilbo was living. The house is just down' the street from Union Park, and a daycare is a "stone's throw" away.
Sixto Figueroe runs the daycare across the street from where Gilbo resided. He couldn't believe it when 7News told him about Gilbo's conviction. "Raping a 9-year-old and a 13-year-old? ... Oooohhhh, Lord, I didn't know that," he said.
Police arrested Gilbo for failure to register as a sex offender. He is now sitting in the Comanche County Jail in lieu of a $50,000 bond. Gilbo is also delinquent for failing to register in the state of Missouri. He is just one of the many sex offenders that fall through the cracks - there are 600,000 sex offenders in the United States, 100,000 of which are not registered.