Sex predator Leroy Hendricks was relocated from Osawatomie State Hospital where he has been temporarily sheltered to a rural residence in Leavenworth County late Wednesday, state welfare officials reported this morning.
A group of Lawrence mothers have been gathering petition signatures in opposition to the state's plan to move the elderly man to Lawrence.
In 1994, Hendricks, now 70, was the first person in Kansas committed after completion of a prison sentence to the state sexual predator unit at Larned State Hospital.
Though Hendricks will remain under state supervision, officials decided to move him from the high-security hospital to a community after deeming him less threatening because of treatment and his advanced age and health problems.
Hendricks became notorious after he appealed his confinement at Larned to the U.S. Supreme Court. He lost that case. He once said the only way to guarantee he would stop molesting children would be if he died.
The state plan would put Hendricks under the supervision of state contractors at a home the exact location of which officials have refused to disclose, citing the need to protect Hendricks privacy. Officials have said the cost of housing Hendricks here will be $278,000 for the first 15 months.