By: Joe Strupp
A fugitive sex offender whose photo was published on the front page of Florida Today in Melbourne has surrendered to the local sheriff’s office, the paper reported Wednesday.
The photo of Antonio Guinyard appeared with a March 18 story about 15 offenders and predators who failed to register with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, which tracks them through its Sexual Offender Registration & Tracking Unit, or SORT, the paper reported.
Guinyard was convicted in 2004 of lewd assault and sexual battery on a victim under the age of 16, the paper reported.
“After the article came out, we started getting phone calls telling us that he was in the Titusville area,” Sheriff’s Lt. Tod Goodyear told the paper. “We did some surveillance of the area and started questioning his family members.”
Guinyard eventually made arrangements to surrender and was arrested March 29, the paper said. He is being held without bail. “Guinyard called me and said he was tired of me chasing him,” Agent Rick Schmidt, who made the arrest, told the paper.
Newspapers have made a practice in recent years of running photos of alleged sex offender and other fugitives, a move that has raised issues of privacy and suspect rights, but also drawn praise from many readers and law enforcement officials.