Sex offender release raises school, notification questions

Some Oakwood residents were surprised and upset to see James Uphoff, convicted last year on child pornography charges, back in their neighborhood this week with no notice.

Uphoff was released from prison Saturday, and his home is one block from Oakwood’s junior high/senior high complex. Montgomery County Sheriff’s officials said Wednesday that Uphoff is required to move within 30 days because he is within 1,000 feet of the school.

But Sgt. Julie Stephens said Ohio law does not call for postcard notification of neighbors for Tier 2 sex offenders like Uphoff — the middle level of the three-tier system.

“That’s why we have our website, and people can go there to sign up for alerts, putting their address in and covering any radius up to two miles,” Stephens said. “So if anyone comes into their neighborhood, they’ll automatically be alerted via email, to everybody except juvenile offenders.”

Stephens said Uphoff is “actively working with our office to find another place to live.”

Uphoff, 78, is a former Wright State education professor, volunteer courtroom advocate for abused children, and 18-year member of Oakwood’s school board through 2007.

Authorities said Uphoff possessed hundreds of pornographic images, some of naked teenage boys, as well as hundreds of erotic stories about sexual acts involving children. He was not charged with any type of physical sexual contact with minors.

Last September, Uphoff was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison on child pornography charges.