Convicted Sex Offender Speaks Out

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HAZLETON -- A convicted sex offender talked with Newswatch 16. He believes changes in Megan's Law are unfair, while a prosecutor says when it comes to children's safety you can not compromise.

Convicted sex offender Tom Heller of Hazleton looked at his listing in the state police Megan's Law database. Heller knows that anyone with an internet connection can see the list.

"You have to look up behind you because you don't know who is going to come up behind you and attack you because being on the registry. It's like a hit list to us," Heller said.

Tom Heller pleaded guilty to molesting a nine-year-old girl in 2002. He was sentenced to jail and was placed on the Megan's Law list. He was supposed to be on it for 10 years. An updated in Megan's Law changed that for Heller and thousands of others. Heller said now will be on the list for the rest of his life.

"I am very upset because 10 years is 10 years. I have paperwork stating that I would not do again, repeat what I was accused of," he said.

Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis said the change in the law and the increase in time on the registry were needed.

"The safety of the public, the safety of the citizens; I think parents will agree with me, especially when it deals with children, the safety outweighs anything negative side of this," Salavantis said.

Heller said he is still paying for his crime.

"I get depressed because I ruined my life because of this. There have been times I have thought of killing myself," he said.

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