ND child molester allowed to live next to victims
WEST FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A West Fargo mother is angry that a 75-year-old next-door neighbor convicted of molesting three of her children allowed to remain in his home, just yards from her own, until his sentencing hearing in August.
Ned VanDyke was convicted in May of three counts of gross sexual imposition and could receive up to 20 years in prison for each count at his Aug. 8 sentencing. He is out on $10,000 bail.
A court order bars VanDyke from being within 300 yards of his victims, two sisters and their brother, but state law makes an exception when the subject of a restraining order lives within the court-ordered buffer zone.
Assistant Police Chief Mike Reitan told The Forum newspaper for a story published Wednesday that Cass County prosecutors confirmed the law allowed VanDyke to remain in his home.
"They said we wouldn't be able to prosecute," Reitan said.
The mother, who has seven children, said she is not necessarily worried about her children's safety, but she said she finds it disturbing that VanDyke is allowed to remain next door.
"It's the mental weight of having to always know he is there," she said. "There ought to be something they can do."
The Associated Press is not naming the mother to protect the identities of her three children who were the alleged victims of sexual abuse.
VanDyke's wife, Linda, told The Forum that he maintains his innocence and does not want to talk about the housing situation.
"He's been living here for 25 years," she said.
The children's mother said her family is eagerly awaiting the sentencing date.
"For kids, August is so far away," she said. "That's the whole summer."