Penn. Co. Sheriff's office works to dispel rumors - KOTA Territory News

Penn. Co. Sheriff's office works to dispel rumors about sex offender

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From the minute his picture was posted on social media, on TV news, and in the newspaper, the Rapid City community went on guard.  Monday night, the Pennington County Sheriff's Office hoped to ease the fears associated with 51-year-old Michael Pigney, who recently moved to Leroy Street in Rapid Valley.

A public meeting was scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at the gymnasium at Rapid Valley Elementary School. The purpose was to answer questions concerning general sex offender information and to explain how to report suspicious activity and other safety concerns.
 
The sheriff's office also wanted to make sure the public has the correct information.

Michael Pigney has done nothing to violate the law since being released from prison.

But, people have already committed crimes against him. His home has been egged, and neighbors say nearby homes have been hit with paintballs. These kinds of vigilante acts or worse is what the sheriff's office is trying to avoid by hosting Monday night's meeting.
 
Miscommunication has already created some undue concern, prompting the school district to increase adult presence on the playground, and more deputy patrols.
 
"We don't want to see anybody get hurt, you know.  Our office is not an advocate for sex offenders but we are an advocate for the laws. And that's our job, to investigate, and if someone breaks the law then that's what we do," said Chief Deputy Willie Whelchel.
 
Some of our viewers say we have contributed to the hysteria by drawing attention to the release of Michael Pigney. While it is not our practice to report on the release of every sex offender, the SD Department of Corrections notified us that Pigney was a "high- risk" to the community.

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Rapid City, SD 57701

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