DAVIE (CBSMiami) — Neighbors passed out fliers at grocery stores, stood along the street and held up posters with the face of a registered sex offender, accused of taking pictures of a child.
Joseph Fezza is allegedly took a photo of a 9-year-old girl at a supermarket in Davie.
“I’m out here because they took a picture of my granddaughter,” Edwin Padilla explained. “We’re at Publix the other day and a stranger came up and took a picture.”
Padilla notified Davie Police who deleted the picture from Fezza’s phone, but police say taking a picture of a child in a public place is not illegal even though Fezza was convicted on a child pornography charge in 2005.
The child’s mother, Maria Leon, explained, “I was angry. Obviously I’m a mom. I was very concerned and determined, determined to get the word out because at that point I realized what he was doing was not illegal. I realized a registered sex offender for child pornography is allowed to take pictures of our child in public without our permission or consent. What he does with those pictures only God knows.”
Now Leon wants to make sure other parents know what happened to her daughter and she wants to change the laws.
“The law needs to change. These are innocent, innocent children who can’t protect themselves. A registered sex offender for child pornography should not be allowed to take pictures of our children legally,” said Leon.
Leon along with friends and neighbors protested near Fezza’s Pembroke Pines home, but he can’t live there much longer. Police said Fezza is being evicted from the home because, as a registered sex offender, he lives too close to a park. He was given 30 days to find a new place to live.