Police have issued a warrant for a sex offender they say violated his registration rules and attended a local church without having permission.
According to court affidavits, Amos Frank Sweeden is wanted for violation of sex offender registration. Reports taken by police accuse Sweeden of also exhibiting “disturbing behavior” and allegedly touching some children while at the church.
Affidavits obtained from the Stephens County Courthouse show original reports about Sweeden were made to the Duncan Police Department April 29. The report indicates not only a pastor, but also a witness, made contact with police. The witness told law enforcement they observed Sweeden inappropriately touch a child, according to reports.
The same day, police made contact with the suspect and conducted an interview. Police asked Sweeden if he went to church, and he advised he did. When police asked if Sweeden had written permission as part of the sex offender registration requirements, Sweeden advised he didn’t know he had to have permission. Police told Sweeden he signed the requirement list on Feb. 15. Law enforcement reminded Sweeden “he could go to any religious organization as long as he had written permission from the pastor to go to that church,” reports state. Sweeden told law enforcement he read them but did not remember the requirements, according to an affidavit.
Sweeden told police he had gone to church for about four months and when asked again if he ever obtained permission, Sweeden “shrugged his shoulders moved his head in a motion to state no and made a noise,” according to reports.
When asked if he held any children, Sweeden told police only one time and said he knew the family but could not remember names, according to reports.
On May 1, several other statements from those attending the church came into the police department. Statements included Sweeden had been attending the church since August 2018 and never notified anyone he was a sex offender.
Statements also included that leadership of the church “began to notice strange behaviors” shown by Sweeden and that Sweeden allegedly began to film the children “as well as inappropriately touching kids, such as rubbing their legs, etc.,” according to reports.
One concerned church attendee googled Sweeden’s name and learned he was a sex offender. Statements also advised Sweeden put a child on his lap and “began to kiss this child on the lips and face multiple times,” according to reports. Other statements corroborated the inappropriate touching and kissing on children and indicated “Sweeden would bite his lower lip as he was touching the kids,” reports state.
Another statement indicated Sweeden when sitting in pews would pace his leg in a manner that “caused children to climb over his leg to get in and out of pews and as they did so he would touch them.”
As of press time, Sweeden was wanted on a $10,000 felony bond. That could go up when he appears before a judge when arrested.