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Athens sex offender indicted for working near children

Roderick Jerel Howard

By Joe Johnson

A convicted sex offender was indicted this week for failing to register updated employment information and was illegally working at a business in downtown Athens that is in close proximity to where children gather.

Roderick Jerel Howard, 31, of Frederick Drive was charged with violation of a sex offender restriction and failure to register updated employment information with the local sheriff's office, according to the indictment that was filed Nov. 5 in Clarke County Superior Court.

Howard was arrested in 2012 on two counts of child molestation for assaulting a girl under 16 years old.

The case went to trial where a jury convicted him on a lesser charge of sexual battery of a victim under 16 and was sentenced to three years in prison and two years of probation, according to court records.

Howard was arrested last month after it was learned that he was working at Clarke’s Standards, a restaurant in the center of downtown that the indictment states is within 1,000 feet of at least one location where children regularly gather – Athens First United Methodist Church on North Lumpkin Street and First Presbyterian Church of Athens on East Hancock Avenue, and First AME Church on North Hull Street.

Howard was not listed as a current inmate at the Clarke County Jail, and there were no court records of him being granted or denied bond.

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