The Izard County Sheriff’s Department is releasing this information pursuant to Act 989 of 1997 and amendments of 2006 regarding sex offenders. Mark Allen Benford has moved to 712 Dream Riders Road in Melbourne. Benford was convicted in 2000 with aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Benford was convicted of engaging in sexual contact with an eight year old female.
Sheriff Tate Lawrence said that Benford is classified as a Level 3 Offender which indicates these individuals usually have histories of repeat sexual offending and/or strong anti-social, violet or predatory personality characteristics. Sexual compulsions are likely to be present, but may be kept under control when relapse prevention plans are followed and treatment is continued. The offense patterns of Level 3 Offenders reflect a relatively high probability of re-offense and/or risk of substantial injury to victims should re-offense occur.
Benford is described as a 48 year old white male ,5’8” tall, 170 pounds having blond hair and blue eyes.
Sheriff Lawrence said that a sex offender notification has been hand delivered to residences within a half mile radius of Benford’s residence. This notification is not intended to increase fear; rather it is the sheriff’s belief that an informed public is a safer public. The Izard County Sheriff’s Department has not legal authority to direct where a convicted offender lives. Unless court ordered restriction exist, the offender is constitutionally free to live where he chooses. Lawrence went on to say that sex offenders have always live in our communities, but it wasn’t until the passage of the Sex and Child Offender Registration Act that law enforcement even knew where they were living. This information cannot be used to threaten, intimidate, or harass registered sex offenders; otherwise law enforcement’s ability to do community notifications could potentially end. We believe the only person who wins if the community notification ends is the sex offender in that sex offenders derive their power through secrecy.
News Release, For Immediate Release, September 18
, 2013, POC: Sheriff Tate Lawrence, 870 368 4203
Note: Picture of Benford provided