A sex offender who appeared on Dateline NBC’s “To Catch a Predator” program was arrested in Dandridge on Halloween night for violating the sex offender registry by wearing a costume at his job.
Lance Perlas, also known as Lance Fine, was convicted of computer pornography, child exploitation and attempting lewd lascivious battery in Flagler Beach, Florida, in 2006 that happened during a recording of the TV program. The victim was a 14-year-old boy.
Now he’s in trouble with the law again, this time in East Tennessee.
“He sounds like he’s a sick person that needs a little bit more time in jail or prison to maybe correct himself,” said Kenneth Rowe, a neighbor.
A Dandridge police officer saw a photo of Perlas on Facebook wearing a werewolf costume at Perkins Family Restaurant, where Perlas was employed. Officers went to the restaurant and found him wearing the costume, complete with mask, in the presence of children, a violation of the sex offender registry because he is classified as a violent juvenile sex offender.
“Tennessee law is very clear. If you are a convicted sex offender, you cannot pretend to be someone, disguise yourself, wear a mask or uniform in public,” said WATE 6 On Your Side legal analyst Greg Isaacs.
“Everyone needs a second chance. If this is his second chance or third chance, he needs some mental help,” said Rowe.
Perlas was taken into custody and has a court date of November 10. A Tennessee Department of Corrections spokesman said a violation report will be sent to Florida where the original incident happened. They will review the case and decide whether or not to extradite Perlas.