Stories written by Jo Ciavaglia, award-winning multimedia newspaper reporter at the Bucks County Courier Times in Bucks County, a suburb of Philadelphia, Pa.
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Monday, April 28, 2014
Missing Bristol Twp. sex offender arrested on sex charges in Montco
Posted: Friday, April 25, 2014
A convicted Bristol Township sex offender missing for nearly four years has been arrested in Montgomery County for allegedly raping a 15-year-old girl there while he was noncompliant with Megan’s Law.
Samuel Lovelace IV as he appears today
Norristown police arrested Samuel Lovelace IV, 29, who listed his address as Hamilton, N.J., on April 1 for multiple counts of forcible rape, false imprisonment, indecent assault on a person under age 16 and other offenses. He was sent to Montgomery County jail in lieu of $250,000 cash bail.
Bristol Township police had been looking for Lovelace since July for allegedly failing to update his sex offender registration information with state police. Lovelace had been considered noncompliant with the Megan’s Law since 2010, according to state registry records.
Lovelace is a Tier 2 sex offender, which means the state considers him a moderate risk for re-offending. He was required to appear in person at a state police registration station to update personal information, including home and work addresses, and be photographed twice a year or when he moved or changed jobs.
But the Norristown police affidavit of probable cause does not mention that Lovelace is a registered sex offender.
Samuel Lovelace in 2010
In the Norristown complaint — filed in September 2012 — the 15-year-old alleges that Lovelace raped and molested her four times at her home between August 2011 and February 2012, according to court records. The alleged crimes occurred when Lovelace was considered noncompliant with Megan’s Law but before an arrest warrant was filed for alleged violations.
One month after Lovelace allegedly started raping the teen, the Pennsylvania Megan’s Law Unit notified Bristol Township police that Lovelace failed to register as a sex offender, according to a probable cause affidavit filed by Bristol Township police.
When a detective went to the address Lovelace listed on his registration, he talked to his grandmother. The grandmother said he was living there, but experiencing "mental issues that would make it nearly impossible" for him to respond to the registration request.
Township police were notified again in last May that Lovelace failed to update his registration information. When a detective went to the same address, they found out he had moved.