British Columbia

Sex offender James Conway focus of Abbotsford rally

More than a hundred Abbotsford residents rallied Sunday outside the home of James Conway, a convicted three-time sex offender.

Neighbours protest outside Conway's home to send message he's not welcome

More than 100 Abbotsford residents turned out Sunday to protest the presence in their neighbourhood of three-time sex offender James Conway. (Richard Zussman/CBC)

More than a hundred Abbotsford residents rallied Sunday outside the home of James Conway, a convicted three-time sex offender.

Neighbours have been protesting his presence in their neighbourhood since it became known earlier this month.

Conway, 40, has been convicted three times for sexual offences perpetrated against children. He also has other convictions for arson, mischief and violating the terms of his release.

Residents in an Abbotsford, B.C. neighbourhood are upset James Conway, a 40-year-old sex offender, has moved into their community. (Abbotsford Police)

He is living under strict conditions that include electronic monitoring. However, neighbours like Cherry Groves say they are concerned about their safety and that of their children.

"He's in the wrong place. You don't put a repeat offender on a street with young kids," she said. "There are three of four families living on the street with young girls and there he is right in the midst."

According to B.C. Corrections, Conway has "maintained a versatile pattern of sexual offending against female children in a predatory and opportunistic manner."

However spokeswoman Cindy Rose says Conway has the right to choose where to live as long as it meets the conditions of his release.

"The housing that Mr Conway is residing in has the supports and services in place that will help him transition back into the community as safely as possible," she said. 

Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun says his office is looking at possible ways of having Conway removed from the community. (Richard Zussman/CBC)

"We'll be monitoring to be sure that he is abiding by those conditions. Again they are very restrictive, and we'll be working very closely with police to be sure that he's abiding by them."

Conway was released in February but was taken back into custody after allegedly violating the terms of his release by sitting next to a teenage girl on a TransLink bus.

Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun says his office is looking at zoning restrictions as a potential way to move Conway.

With files from Richard Zussman

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