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Sex Offender Candidate for Vt. Senate - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Sex Offender Candidate for Vt. Senate

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Larkin Forney Larkin Forney

Milton, Vermont - October 8, 2008

"Oh well. I know most voters are not going to warm up to my record," Larkin Forney said.

Forney, 29, knows he has an uphill fight if he plans to get elected to the Vermont Senate from Chittenden County. He is an independent, unemployed, and has a lengthy criminal record-- three convictions for drunk driving and one for sexual assault on a teenager. But he says he was wrongfully convicted.

"I want to be a senator because I think I could bring integrity and honesty back to the justice system which I believe is failing us because I have been a victim of false reports and false accusations," Forney said.

He spent 21 months behind bars for his sex crime conviction. He met a girl on the internet and had a long-lasting affair with her. The problem is she was only 14.

"And she had lied to me about her age and the charge in Vermont is called sexual assault on a minor," Forney said.

And he says he will address the hot topic of the day-- dealing with sex offenders.

"I agree that there should be tighter restrictions for sex offenders who are real predators... a danger to society. I had testimony from professionals that I am no predator or a pedophile," Forney said.

He claims he is no predator, but some of his neighbors in Milton are alarmed that anyone with such a record could run for office.

"I don't think there's any reason for them to take advantage of children, whether he had a brain injury or whatever his reasoning," Ida Westover said.

Jim Thatcher said, "It didn't really surprise me that much given that this town has the second highest population of convicted sex offenders in the county. One of 'em would have to end up on a ballot at some point, wouldn't they?"

"There isn't a politician who doesn't have skeletons in their closet. Not knowing him at all personally, and not knowing what he really does stand for, I'd have to say that my reaction would be to look, wait and see," Gary Morgan said.

Forney will have a chance to debate all the other senate candidates from the county. He is appearing in a forum on channel 17 Thursday night.

Forney is a valid candidate for the state Senate. There is nothing in Vermont law preventing convicted felons from holding elected office.

Brian Joyce - WCAX News

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