family warns neighbors with a huge sign
Wanda English Burnett, Editor
In a neighborhood that seemed perfect to raise children, there
is only one sign, literally, that all might not be as idealistic
as originally thought.
The Ratliffs - Chad and Faith - erected a 6x8' sign on their
property south of Rexville (1050S off US 421) alerting the neighborhood
that a convicted sex offender is moving in.
Knowing its not against the law for offender Evertt Scholl
to move next door, and the knowledge that the sheriff says Scholl
makes his weekly appointments with his parole officer, does not
give the Ratliffs much consolation.
Public records reveal that Scholl, 61, has served time for two counts
of Incest and two counts of Rape on a conviction out of Madison
County, Indiana. He served four years with his parole ending in
April of 2008. He is required to register as a sex offender until
The Ratliffs have four daughters ranging in age from nine to 15.
It scares me, Chad told The Versailles Republican,
because Im a truck driver and gone two to three days
at a time. I cant be here to protect them.
Faith said the girls are afraid now and wont sleep alone in
their new home. The Ratliffs will be in their new home a year
this month after fire destroyed their other one. They all
pile in one room and make me sleep with them when Chads on
the road, Faith noted. She says the girls wont even
walk to the bus stop alone. It shouldnt be like this..its
just not fair.
When the Ratliff family was reminded that sex offenders have to
live somewhere, Faith replied, Not 100 feet from my daughters
The Ratliffs met their to-be neighbors and ironically the
Scholls did not disclose what Faith says is the most important information
about themselves. The Ratliffs were tipped off about Scholls
record from a concerned friend. They immediately began checking
websites and making phone calls to confirm their worst fears.
Pat Redwine, a neighbor of the Ratliffs, said she originally
owned the property where the Scholls home is being installed.
She sold it to another individual, who in turn sold it to the Scholls.
I hate it, she told The Versailles Republican saying,
everybody around here has children. The neighborhood
around the Ratliffs home reflects the presence of children
- a swimming pool, swing set, trampoline, playhouse, horses, animals
and basketball goal.
Feeling they have no recourse except to alert others and keep a
close eye on their daughters, the Ratliffs got busy and made the
huge sign to let everyone know. Neighbors say the road has had
more cars on it than ever before, with people driving by to
see the sign.
The Ratliffs say the reason behind putting the sign up is as simple
as this, Were trying to keep our kids safe. They
say they have no malicious intent toward their intended neighbors
- they dont even know them.
As for the children, Erika, who is the oldest, told The Versailles
Republican shes afraid she wont be able to have her
friends over. Who will let their kids come here when they
know who lives next door? Faith said they have a swimming
pool and the girls had a great summer with lots of friends over.
One time we had about 60 out here, she laughed. Her
laughter was short lived as the realization sank in that things
might be different next summer for her family.
We shouldnt have to be this afraid, Faith noted.
The Ratliffs live on property that belonged to Faiths parents,
Melvin and Gladys Burton. The Burtons still live close and are very
concerned about their granddaughters.
Right now the way Indiana law reads, about the only thing a person
can do is become knowledgeable about where sex offenders live. You
can do this by accessing the website: www.ripleycounty.com, then
click on the sheriffs website, then check on the sex offender
What if we didnt know and I sent one of the girls over
to check on the new neighbors in the wintertime? Faith cringed.
Its all so unnerving.
Fox 19 news and The Versailles Republican made a personal
visit to the home of Scholls on County Road 700S for his comment
on the situation. No one answered the door. When Channel 5s
news crew knocked on their door, a woman answered and told them,
they have their rights and we have ours. She then instructed
the news crew to leave their property.
WANDA ENGLISH BURNETT PHOTO
Pictured above from left are: Corey McConnell, Fox 19
news, Pat Redwine, Melvin and Gladys Burton, Erika Ratliff,
her parents, Faith and Chad Ratliff, and seated, Jason Richardson.
They gathered at the Ratliff home on Tuesday to express
their fears about having a new neighbor, one that has been
convicted of a sex crime. The Ratliffs placed a sign, bottom
photo, at the edge of their property pointing to the home
of Evertt Scholl, who has served time on rape and incest