COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A man convicted of sexually assaulting children will be released from prison Tuesday, prompting new fears for people close to the case.
Thomas Buchan, 69, was found guilty in 1992 of molesting two young boys. He spent several years appealing the case, and was sentenced in 1997 to 20 years behind bars.
Because he committed his crimes before present day sex offender laws, Buchan won't be on probation when he's released.
"He should have been in there for a lifetime," said Roberta Young, who's close to the victims in the case. "I was very, very surprised because I thought he would have parole on him or probation or something to where he'd have to check in to make sure he was walking the line. But he has nothing."
Buchan is Young's stepfather and she helped convict him. She said she wants people aware of Buchan's homecoming, especially those who live in the westside neighborhood he's moving back to. Buchan will live at 1404 N. 25th St. in the home he owns with his wife.
"I fear for all the other little children that are in that area," said Young. "He's very convincing, very conniving."
There's a bus stop a few blocks away from Buchan's home, and neighbors said the area is filled with kids.
"It's disconcerting," said one neighbor familiar with the case who didn't want to give her name.
Young said she's also worried for her own family.
"Before (Buchan) was taken off in the paddy wagon, he told us we would get ours," Young recalled. "We would be the ones looking over our shoulders."
She and her husband tried to get a restraining order, but it was dismissed because of a paperwork problem.
Buchan's wife, Loretta, told KRDO Newschannel 13 that her husband was a good man who was wrongly convicted due to lies.
A Department of Corrections spokesperson said that, under current sex offender laws, Buchan would have mandatory probation, likely for the rest of his life.
Sex offenders convicted in Colorado before 2000, even those considered violent, can be living in the community unsupervised. The law says communities do not have to be notified when sex offenders are released from prison if the crimes were committed before July 1, 1997
According to the DOC, Buchan will have to register as a sex offender.
To find sex offenders in your neighborhood click here.