NOTE: This story follows an NBC 5 Investigates/Telemundo Investiga report on sex offenders living at motels. Click here for more on the investigation.
Click on the map above to show the areas where NBC5 Investigates and Telemundo Investiga found registered sex offenders who – at some point between the fall of 2017 and the spring of 2018 – reported their home addresses at a motel or hotel in a ten-state area.
Each circle on the map describes a general area where the offenders were found (for example, a single highway interchange); how many hotels and motels in that area were listed as homes to sex offenders at some point during the time period we checked; the total number of sex offenders found; and – within that total – the total number of child sex offenders.
As seen on the map, the majority of these motels are at highway interchanges. Because each state has laws that restrict where registered sex offenders can live (they’re prohibited from living near schools and parks, for example), often the only legal place where some offenders can live is in a motel at the edge of a town or along an interstate -- ironically, the same type of place where travelers check in, during a road trip.
We checked each motel twice – once during the fall of 2017, and once during the spring of 2018 – and found that some offenders moved out between checks; others moved in; and many offenders were living at the motel throughout the two time periods we checked. This map only represents the offenders counted during the two times when NBC5 and Telemundo checked each address.
Motels are not under any obligation to check up on a guest’s criminal history; nor are they required to inform one guest about the presence of another. Registered offenders are not required to inform motels about their status. Their only obligation is to inform local police, whenever they change residences.