High level sex offender has Kent neighbors on edge

SEATTLE -- People in Kent are on high alert after finding out a sex offender known for changing his looks in now living in their neighborhood.

Sex offenders are nothing new to most neighborhoods, but police say it's important that Kent residents know about Bennett Reedy.

Reedy has been a man of many looks since being released from prison, where he had been serving a sentence for raping a woman he met at an AA meeting two decades ago. He's also been charged with assault in the past, and police say he's bi-polar and schizophrenic.

Kent Mayor Suzette Cooke said it's best to err on the side of caution when it comes to warning residents about sex offenders.

"It was enough to at least trigger, to air on the side of an educated public to be aware of the individual," Cooke said.

Reedy is now living in a clean and sober house in Kent. Police say he's been cooperative, but he's still a level III offender, which means there's a higher risk of him re-offending.

On Thursday night, locals came out to get an update on Reedy from police.

"We wanted to make sure that we can provide the best information for our residents so we can keep a crime free community," said apartment manager Terri Brown.

People who live or work nearby hope for the best.

"We were just kind of concerned," said Linda Sockham, who runs a daycare. "We wanted to get information. We don't want to be fearful. Everyone deserves a second chance."

About 4,000 sex offenders live in King County, and 321 live in Kent.