Florida Keys

Can sex predators be banned from a Keys marina?

The Boot Key Harbor City Marina has 447 boats registered. The manager says it's getting more families staying there.
The Boot Key Harbor City Marina has 447 boats registered. The manager says it's getting more families staying there. KeysInfoNet

A Florida Keys marina wants to ban sexual predators.

Ports Director Sean Cannon said he asked City Attorney David Migut about the possibility of excluding registered predators from the Boot Key Harbor City in Marathon. Cannon said the idea was prompted at a time when leases with customers are being reviewed.

"We're just trying to make sure it's a better, safer place," Cannon said. "In the last year and a half, there have been more families here than there used to be."

Sex offenders and sexual predators are required by state law to register with their local police agency. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement says sex offenders must register twice or four times a year, depending on the offense. Sexual offenders must report four times a year, during their birth month and every third month after.

Migut said he's still researching whether registered predators can legally be excluded from the marina.

Cannon said registered predators and offenders haven't been a problem in the past two and half years he's run the marina. However, he said some residents in the past have brought up excluding people charged with sex crimes from the marina.

Marathon City Manager Chuck Lindsey said the city doesn't have any current issues at the marina with people charged with sex crimes.

"We're always looking for process improvements. This is a question that came up from Sean Cannon and we asked David to look it up," Lindsey said.

There are 447 boats in Boot Key Harbor registered with the marina. The number of individual residents isn't tallied, according to Katrina Spelker, administrative assistant at the marina.

The city of Key West owns two marinas, the Key West Bight Marina and the Key West City Marina. Doug Bradshaw, port and marina services director for the city, said to his knowledge, there is no written policy excluding registered sexual predators or sexual offenders.

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