Mar 19, 2010 9:18 PM by Monica Quintero
New information about a sex offender arrested in Templeton this week. A close relative is defending him. Billy Gene Mannon, 50-years-old, was arrested two times this month. Most recently, on charges of annoying or molesting a child under 18. The mother told deputies Mannon had stared at her daughters and possibly followed one of them in a car. But Mannon's relative wants people to know his side of the story.
Mannon's close relative wants to remain anonymous but said, "It's getting blown way out of proportion." Mannon is a registered sex offender convicted of oral copulation by force or violence. The relative said it happened 25 years ago and that Mannon has served his time. He said, "The girl in question was 34-years-old at the time and he was 24." The relative said Mannon would never molest a child. But one of his recent arrests placed him near the practice course used by Templeton High School's girls cross country team. Michelle Johnson, a Templeton resident, said, "I think that somebody with a history of sexual offense should be watching what he's doing, knowing that we're all aware of it." Another Templeton resident, Tyler Striegel, said, "It kind of creeps me out a little bit. My little sister is in middle school. I think they should relocate people completely away from schools."
Mannon's relative said he may seem a little odd to others. He said Mannon has a speech impediment, a learning disability and is bipolar. We also asked the relative if Mannon is dangerous. He said, "Not at all. He's never been charged with any other violent crime. The initial crime took place 25 years ago." The relative also said the 50-year-old talks to himself. He said Mannon does say things that can sound intimidating but stressed Mannon would not hurt anyone.
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