2,000 convicted pedophiles live in group homes only steps from California schools

These "pedophile dens" all have at least three child sex offenders living in them, with some having as many as 18 pedophiles at one address.

Almost 2,000 convicted pedophiles are living in groups across 442 locations in California, many of them just blocks away from schools, according to an investigation by the Daily Mail.

These "pedophile dens" all have at least three child sex offenders living in them, with some having as many as 18 pedophiles at one address. 

Law enforcement officials and prosecutors interviewed by the Mail said the situation could be dangerous.

"These guys and gals have addictions, and to put them anywhere near a temptation is not serving them and it's not serving the kids," said President of the Sacramento County Deputy Sheriff's Association Nate Seger.

Some believe the "pedophile dens" could encourage reoffending.

"It's terrifying. Your numbers truly, truly frighten me," said former Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Sam Dordulian. "If they're all congregating with each other, it's just creating the environment for more of these crimes to occur."

"Even if they're trying to stay clean, they're in an environment where they're around other pedophiles," he added. "They're gonna be talking about children, having child porn available. And it's just creating a situation where you're almost sure there's going to be another offense."

Many of these "dens" are situated in nice homes in family neighborhoods, in close proximity to other families and schools.

One "den" looked onto a neighboring home, with a kids' playset in the backyard in full view of the residents.

Another was a six-bedroom house in an above-average income neighborhood with a tennis court in the back, home to six pedophiles.

Ramon Nolasco, 74, who lives next to a building that houses a number of child sex offenders, feels that his and other neighbors' concerns are not being heard.

"This is dangerous for families around here. There are lots of families here, many schools. In the morning and afternoon there are a lot of students walking by here," he said. "They should be in other places where there are no families. But the government only talks, they don't do anything. We feel abandoned."

The owner of that building, Eugene Hargro, 77, is himself a sex offender, being released from prison in 1992 after 11 years behind bars. His property is within several blocks of two schools, but his ownership predates them both.

"You don't just grab people and throw them out because they put a school right there," he argued. "The school is not right in front of this house. Now, it could be a problem if it was, but it's not. It's way over there. And I was here first."

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