A man who is known as the “Canterbury Cannibal” after attempting to meet a 14-year-old girl he had sexually groomed and promised to kill and eat remains in the Washington County Jail.
Although, authorities said that he is not in custody for personal safety reasons nor has he committed any crimes.
Dale Bolinger, 62, was convicted in Canterbury Crown Court of attempting to groom a child under 16 for sexual purposes, two counts of possessing obscene pictures of children under 16 and seven counts of writing obscene articles.
Bolinger was sentenced to nine years in prison in September 2014. He served three years before he was deported to the U.S.
Bolinger arrived in the U.S. earlier this month and registered as a sex offender living on Todd Drive south of Blair on Jan. 4.
On Jan. 12, Bolinger was taken into custody by the Washington County Sheriff's Office.
Washington County Attorney Scott Vander Schaaf said neither he nor Sheriff Mike Robinson are trying to mislead or not inform the public on the status or proceedings involving Bolinger.
“These are matters which are defined as inherently private under Nebraska law, and, therefore, we cannot comment on this situation,” Vander Schaaf said in a press release Tuesday. “Our number one priority is the safety of the community and we are taking steps to ensure that safety.”
If Bolinger's status should change, Vander Schaaf said the public would be alerted.
“Until such time as we can inform the public further, we cannot provide any other comment,” he said.
Residents along Todd Drive in the Heidi Hollow subdivision are still wondering why they weren't notified that Bolinger had moved into the home of longtime residents Steve and Lynn Sobota.
Connie Clary, who lives two doors down, recalled a conversation with Lynn in October. Clary said Lynn told her they would be having a house guest staying with them.
“She said he was wrongly accused of a sexual assault,” she said.
Clary was out of the state last week when she received a text message from her daughter.
“We have a cannibal living in our neighborhood,” the message said.
The message was shocking, Clary said.
“We were a little scared,” she said. “It's frightening because he's accused of crimes against young girls.”
Clary never saw Bolinger. She believes the Sobotas were unaware of the full extent of Bolinger's past. Clary said she was told Bolinger was “a friend of the family,” but she didn't recall how.
“They don't want any troubles. They don't want any issues,” Clary said. “They were just trying to do a good deed.”
Clary said she hopes the neighbors and the Sobotas can get past this incident and return to being a quiet neighborhood.
“Hopefully, we can move forward (from this),” she said.
The Sobotas declined the Enterprise's request for an interview.