A sex offender from Rhode Island is now at the center of a controversy in California.
Charles Herbert Holmes claims he was wrongly imprisoned in California for failing to register as a sex offender.
He is seeking more than $200,000 from the state of California.
Holmes, now 50 years old, has a lengthy criminal record in Rhode Island, including a plea to 2nd degree child molestation more than 20 years ago.
Documents from California authorities and the Rhode Island court system show Holmes was accused of molesting the 7-year-old daughter of a friend he was staying with in Providence in 1991.
He was sentenced to serve 3 years in prison.
Fast forward to 2005, Holmes moved to California.
He was arrested and charged with, among other things, failing to register as a sex offender based on his Rhode Island crime.
He served 8 years in prison in California, but then learned he never had to register as a sex offender there for two reasons.
First, Rhode Island did not require Holmes to register as a sex offender because his crime was before the registry law was enacted in Rhode Island. Second, the molestation laws are slightly different in the two states.
Now Holmes wants the state of California to pay him $100 for every day he claims he was wrongly locked up.
But Thursday, the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board went against its own staff recommendation and denied Holmes the money.
Holmes’ attorney, Robert Schlein told NBC 10 by phone from California, “Whether or not we like Mr. Holmes, we owe him that money. It was an injustice twice done now. He spent 8 years in prison that he shouldn't have. Secondly, when he properly presented a claim which is valid, he was denied it because nobody liked the fact that he had had the prior sexual assault.”
Holmes moved back to Rhode Island last year after getting out of prison in California.
Court records show since then, he's faced larceny charges in Newport, which were dismissed, and in Woonsocket where he was given a 1 year suspended sentence. There is also a bench warrant for failing to appear at a court appearance.
A family member told NBC 10 that she hasn't seen Holmes in five months, since she claims Holmes robbed his own mother.
She says family members who tried to help Holmes after his release now don't want anything to do with him.
Schlein told NBC 10 that Holmes is now back in California.
He plans to appeal the board ruling denying Holmes the money.?
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