Sex offender accused of violating new child safety zone ordinance
A Lehigh Acres man is the first person to be arrested under a new Lee County law that bans registered sex offenders from play facilities used by children.
Joseph Comfort, 57, of 512 E. Jackson Ave., was arrested at the Lehigh Acres Public Pool today after deputies answering a complaint say they found him in violation of Lee County’s Child Safety Zone ordinance.
The ordinance, passed in March, states “that a sexual predator is not allowed in any public or private playgrounds and play facilities to include any public swimming pool during such times that is being used by children.”
Deputies say they found Comfort sunbathing, with approximately 20 to 30 children “within close proximity.” Deputies confirmed with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Sexual Predator/Offender Unit that Comfort had been made aware of, and acknowledged, the county ordinance. Comfort was arrested and taken to the Lee County Jail. He was cited for violating the Child Safety Zone ordinance, officials said, adding Comfort is the first person to be arrested in Lee County for violating this ordinance since it was passed on March 24.