Sex offender living in Laishley Marina, next to Park

Posted at 9:49 PM, Dec 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-08 07:12:06-05

**UPDATE:** After our Four in Your Corner investigation aired Tuesday night, Paul Blasco moved out of the Laishley Marina in Punta Gorda.


**ORIGINAL STORY:** The Punta Gorda Police Department said 41-year-old Paul Blasco, a registered sex offender, is living in the Laishley Marina in Punta Gorda.

The marina is right next to Laishley Park and splash pad, where kids often play.

One woman told Four in Your Corner she's run into Blasco.  "I was down here on Saturday night fishing, and he came walking down the pier, introduced himself. He was a little bit creepy," she said.

When she showed up to the park with her daughter on Tuesday, she saw Blasco's photo plastered all over the park.  "I'm shocked. I was talking to him and kind of creeped out. Shouldn't be around the park like that," she said. "There's a lot of kids that come down here."

Blasco was convicted of aggravated sexual assault on a victim under 13 in New Hampshire in 1998.

Punta Gorda Police posted a notification of Blasco's change of address on Facebook, but Carol Crowley, who lives nearby, said she was notified by phone.  "First thing I think about is children. And there is a park and there are children that play in the showers, so I'm concerned. Very concerned," Crowley said.

She doesn't think a sex offender should be able to live so close to where kids play, but Lt. Katie Heck of the Punta Gorda Police Department said Blasco is legally allowed to live in the marina.

"With the sexual offender classification, if their conviction was before October 1, 2004 -- which is when the law that included the the thousand feet came into effect, they are permitted to live within one thousand feet of the park," she said.

Blasco was convicted in 1998.

"I think they should do something about it now. There's a loophole. Fix it," Crowley said.

Punta Gorda Police said Blasco is assigned a police officer who will check on him at least monthly.