August 30, 2014

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Police hunting for sex offender

WESTLAKE — Police are hunting for a convicted sex offender found baby-sitting four young children — a sex offender they say showed at least one of the kids dirty pictures and movies.

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Sparks
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Buck

Dennis Buck, 38, who was previously convicted of molesting his 14-year-old relative in Cuyahoga County, is wanted on two felony counts of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles.

The children’s mother, Sharon Sparks, 32, was arrested Tuesday on three counts of child endangering and a felony county of obstructing official business. She was arraigned Wednesday in Rocky River Municipal Court, and was released on a $7,500 bond.

Westlake police Capt. Guy Turner said the police probe began last month when school officials said Sparks’ children showed up to class in dirty clothes and with poor hygiene.

When officers checked her home, they found Sparks asleep upstairs and a drunken Buck “supervising” the children, ages 2, 6, 8 and 11, Turner said. He was charged with disorderly conduct by intoxication and released several hours later.

Turner said police soon learned that Sparks was Buck’s prison pen pal, and that he’s on probation. His previous convictions include felony burglary, drug possession, gross sexual imposition, abduction, attempted escape and failing to register as a sex offender.

She told police he was “the most caring person she knows,’’ Turner said, and that she was comfortable with him watching her children because she thought he had been framed for the prior sex crime.

 “She thought she could mother him, apparently. That strikes me as incredibly naive. She has four children of her own, and she still thinks she can take on the welfare of a sex offender,” Turner said.

Turner said as police investigated Buck’s involvement with the family, they learned that he had shown pornographic movies and magazines to at least one of the children.

On Dec. 5, Children Services took the children from Sparks’ home, and Buck – who was still there – was told he could not be. He was seen at the home after he was given the warning, but Sparks wouldn’t allow police to search it, Turner said.

Contact Jason Hawk at 329-7148 or jhawk@chroniclet.com.