The Stark County Sheriff’s Office this week updated a webpage listing registered sex offenders accused of moving without telling police. The online public information had been inaccurate and outdated for at least four years.
On Wednesday, the page was revised to list those who currently are wanted on warrants charging each with failure to notify authorities of a change of address. All of those listed are men.
Until the correction, law enforcement was still seeking only one of the men pictured on the sheriff’s list of wanted sex offenders. The updated list can be found on the sheriff’s website at www.starkcountyohio.gov.
Jerome Sky Martin, 37, whose last known address was 1035 E. Summit St. in Alliance, remains wanted. Martin, listed as noncompliant in Ohio Attorney General’s Office records, was convicted in 2001 of corruption of a minor with sexual motivation.
Others on the old list, such as Kenneth W. Buffkin, 51, who had been living in the 2700 block of Rita Street Northeast in Lake Township, has been in Florida since 2014. He was labeled a sex offender when he was convicted in 1996 of committing a lewd and lascivious act upon a child under age 16 in Escambia County, according to Florida Department of Law Enforcement records.
Buffkin was living in Ohio in 2009 when a warrant was issued. He wasn’t arrested until 2014. He then was convicted and returned to Florida, where he went back to prison for failure to comply with sex offender registration requirements there, Florida state records show. He now lives in Pensacola.
But Buffin still was listed on the Stark County Sheriff’s Office sex offender webpage as wanted as recently as last week.
Maj. C.J. Stantz confirmed information on the website had not been updated properly. He said the Stark County Auditor’s Office was tasked about four years ago with overseeing all county websites.
“That’s when the [initial] information was uploaded,” he said.
Stantz said no improper arrests occurred during that intervening time as a result of any outdated information.
“It was information only for the public. It was not used for law enforcement purposes,” he said. “Updating the site is a complex task.”
Stantz said Sheriff George T. Maier contacted Auditor Alan Harold and, as a result, IT personnel from both departments are collaborating to keep information updated moving forward.
Harold said the offices are working together so sheriff’s personnel “can keep their content current, including the things that are going on with the registered sex offenders.”
“Our job is to provide support in whatever way we can relative to us getting this done,” Harold said.
The name of one of the sex offenders currently wanted on warrants charging him with failing to notify authorities of their change of address also appeared on the older list. That is Martin.
Another man on the new list is incarcerated in West Virginia: Louis Johanning, 41, whose local address is listed as the Stark Regional Community Corrections Center, 4433 Lesh St. NE. He was arrested in West Virginia on Nov. 7, authorities said.
The others who are wanted on failure-to-notify warrants are listed below with their last known addresses:
Harold Tharp, 22, of 1703 Kolp Place NW, Canton.
Marcus Brooks, 34, of 1130 Plain Ave. NE, Canton.
Fredrick Warner, 61, of 1743 Shawnee Ave., Massillon.
Rickey Betz, 47, of 1206 19th St. NE, Canton.
Michael Kelly, 42, of 149 S. Freedom Ave., Apt 4., Alliance.
Charles Alexander, 46, of 3030 Sweitzer St. NW, Lake Township (Uniontown area).
Aaron Bable, 30, of 4039 Fulton Drive NW, Apt. 1, Canton.
Reach Lori at 330-580-8309 or email@example.com.