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Arrested when he was 16-years-old, a child rapist has been released from a mental health facility in Sanford, Fl. after serving time for sexually assaullting little boys in his father’s church. Seminole County Judge O.H. Eaton Jr. told the court “I don’t think there’s grounds to hold him any longer.”

SANFORD A judge freed Kareem Merthie, 26, who had been locked up for nearly a decade for raping children, but the celebration for his family quickly turned tragic.

Before the judge released him, Merthie’s mother, Ruth Merthie, collapsed in the hallway after stepping out.

She was rushed to Central Florida Regional Hospital where she died.

Two medical experts said Merthie is not an active sexually violent predator.

Merthie preyed on as many as 20 children. He’s the son of a minister, and most of the rapes happened at his father’s church, New Life Word Center.

If he has been locked up, away from children, wouldn’t he be by default not be an active sexually violent predator? Not everyone agrees he no longer poses a threat. “Child rapist wants out of Sanford mental hospital“.

Tampa psychologist Michael Gamache, a state witness, filed a report in March, saying that Merthie had admitted victimizing 20 children, both boys and girls.

“Due to the sheer volume of Mr. Merthie’s prior sexual acts, I believe he remains a high risk or a danger to reoffend” but not more so than “the average sex offender,” Gamache wrote.

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Reading this alert  about an “Unknown Tampa Child Rapist” at America’s Most Wanted (AMW) might make you wonder if he had any ties to the brutal rape and murder of 6-year-old Coralrose Fullwood last year. Her case is presently unsolved. North Port, Fl where she lived is approximately 90 miles south of Tampa.

This is the type of case that hits very close to home for some Tampa, Fla. police officers.  A 10-year-old girl says a man raped her in her home at 5:30 in the morning Saturday, August 18, 2007.  Her parents were sleeping nearby until she woke them up to tell them what happened to her; her parents quickly called 9-1-1, but the man was long gone.

The police apparently have DNA from both cases to be able to compare should they choose to do so.

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