A convicted sex offender seen walking near two Hendersonville schools on three separate occasions has been charged with violating the state’s sex offender registry law.
Keith Barcus, 50, was charged Oct. 22 with three counts of violating the state law that prohibits a registered sex offender from standing, sitting or remaining within 1,000 feet of a school, park, or day care center when children under the age of 18 are present. The violation is considered a Class E felony.
Several people reported to authorities that they saw Barcus walking in the area of Crosby Drive at Martin Drive and Sequoyah Drive at Cherokee Road during school hours where children were present on or around Sept. 25, Oct. 4 and Oct. 21, according to an affidavit filed in Sumner County General Sessions Court.
Barcus was seen in the area when children were being dropped off for school and also when they were leaving for the day, the affidavit states. Three witnesses positively identified Barcus, and one provided a photo of him as he walked in front of her vehicle.
A Sumner County Sheriff's Office deputy, who is also the school resource officer at Hendersonville High School, mapped out the locations the witnesses said they saw Barcus at and determined they were within 1,000 feet of Nannie Berry Elementary and Hendersonville High schools as well as Drake’s Creek Park South.
Barcus was charged with three counts of the same crime in October 2017 after he was seen taking pictures of children at a farm in Portland that is a popular destination for families and school field trips.
Court records show that he pleaded guilty to one of the charges and was sentenced to 180 days in jail. Barcus was also charged with a probation violation on Nov. 15, 2018. That charge was not prosecuted, according to court records. He was charged with a probation violation on April 10, 2019. That charge is scheduled to be heard in court on Nov. 4.
Barcus, who lives in Hendersonville, was convicted in 1992 for two counts of aggravated sexual battery of a minor. He is listed on the Tennessee sex offender registry as a violent offender.
He pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges in 2002, 2004 and 2010, according to court documents. Each time he was ordered to not have any contact with domesticated animals for life.
Court records show that Barcus also pleaded guilty to the charge of violating the conditions of the sex offender registry in February of 2012. A third violation is punishable by no less than a year in prison, according to state law.
Barcus is being held in the Sumner County Jail on an $85,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in General Sessions Court on the most recent charges at 9 a.m. on Nov. 20.