Registered sex offender accused of photographing juveniles at area swim meets

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HARPERSFIELD TWP., Ohio -- A convicted repeat sex offender was arrested Sunday after reportedly taking photos of children at a youth swimming meet.

James Renick, 69, of Indianapolis, who was accused of similar behavior dating back over 20 years, faces a charge of obstructing justice in the case.

According to police reports, officers were called to Spire Sports Center Complex and Academy, 5201 Spire Circle, during a meet being held for juveniles ages 14 and below.

Staff members had become concerned after Renick was seen taking photos at the meet. He had professional photographer equipment with him and was wearing a vest typically worn by photographers.

Police reports state he was recently seen at meets at Cleveland State University and Indiana Purdue University, along with at events in Columbus and Canton.

According to reports, Renick, a former TV news reporter, was first permitted to take photos at the meet while swimmers were in a certain area of the water. After a staff member began asking questions, his story changed and that's when police were called.

Police observed him take photos of children in a restricted area. After he was approached by police, he was unable to provide a form of ID, and officers said his hands began to shake. He at one point told police he was an amateur photographer taking photos for a friend.

After walking Renick to his car, officers were able to obtain a copy of his driver's license. They then learned he was a registered sex offender who had served six years in prison for molesting two boys under the age of 10.  He also admitted he was not permitted to be near children, parks or schools.

Police asked Renick to delete three different SD cards filled with photos of young boys at the meet, along with on a basketball court and at other locations.

Renick was then arrested.

He was arraigned Monday and issued $25,000 bond. He'll appear in court again later this month.

Police reports state that when he was arrested for molesting boys in Pennsylvania back in 1995, he was known to visit swimming pools and take photos of young boys wearing swimsuits.

He was found to have over 500 photos at his home at the time of his arrest.

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