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Friday, August 10, 2018

Beech Grove, Indiana sex offender caught in Ohio

Beech Grove, Indiana (August 10, 2018) — An Ohio County sheriff’s deputy on Sunday arrested a convicted sex offender from Indiana who was reportedly taking photos of juveniles participating in a swim meet for athletes up to 14 years old at the Spire Institute athletic complex.

James F. Renick, 69, of 56 S. Third Ave., Beech Grove, Indiana, faces one second-degree misdemeanor count of obstructing justice in Western County Court for reportedly providing a false identity when confronted by the deputy.

Mug Shot: James F. Renick

One of the swim meet officials contacted county authorities after Renick made confusing statements about his reason for being at the meet. Officials said Renick was wearing a photographer’s vest and carried professional cameras. They’d previously seen him at swim meets at Cleveland State University, Columbus and Canton, as well as Indiana University-Perdue University in Indianapolis, Indiana.

“(An official) told me that James was instructed to only take pictures of the children while they were in a certain area of the water and not while they (were) waiting in the dive area,” the deputy wrote in his report. “(The official) and I both observed James taking pictures of the children while they were standing in a restricted area.”

When approached by the deputy, Renick reportedly gave the deputy a fake name and date of birth. The county dispatcher checking that information was unable to return any police records, the report states.

Renick “appeared very nervous, his hands began to shake and he fumbled with removing SD cards from his camera and switching it with another,” the report states. Renick’s reasons for attending the event changed multiple times while speaking with the deputy, he noted.

“I told James that I didn’t believe a word he was saying,” the deputy wrote. “James said he would just leave the facility.”

When asked, Renick also denied being a registered sex offender or under any conditions preventing him from being around children. Upon exiting the complex, however, Renick produced his driver’s license and dispatchers learned he is a registered sex offender for life.

Renick, a former TV news reporter, pleaded guilty in 1996 to molesting two boys under the age of 10 in Pennsylvania, and served six years in a Pennsylvania state prison.

According to The (Allentown) Morning Call, authorities conducting a June 1995 search of Renick’s Pennsylvania home found “thousands of photographs of young boys naked and in bathing suits” as well as other sexually explicit material.

Sex Offender Data Sheet: James F. Renick

The Ashtabula County deputy on Sunday searched three of Renick’s camera memory cards and while they had many images of children at sporting events, none of the images were sexually explicit or involved nudity, the report states.

In 2015, 13 years after he was released from prison, Renick was caught with camera equipment outside his Indiana home and sentenced to an additional two years of probation for breaking a condition of his release, according to The (Scranton) Times-Tribune.

Renick remains in the Ashtabula County jail. He pleaded not guilty Monday in Western County Court, where his bond was set at $25,000 or 10 percent cash or surety, with the condition that he have no contact with children or photography equipment. A court hearing date is set for Aug. 21 in that court.

Court records do not list an attorney for Renick.

Search for sex offenders in your area: Indiana Sex and Violent Offender Registry  

SOURCE: Star Beacon