A 65-year-old man named Oliver Larry Beck pled guilty to sexually assaulting his neighbor’s child in 2011.  He served his prison sentence and was recently released.  The family of the assaulted child has now filed another lawsuit against their neighbor.  The child’s family wants Beck to be forced to buy their home and pay for moving costs and punitive damages for the assault. They feel as though their home is “unmarketable” at this point because it is located next to a sex offender’s home.

I agree that Beck's crime should not go unpunished.  He should have to deal with the troubles he has caused the child and her family.  I also have no problem with holding a sex offender responsible for a home’s diminished property value.  However, according to Aba Journal, a University of Virginia law professor named Douglas Laycock thinks this would be a strange remedy for the court to order.  The law professor believes that "selling the house to the offender might be a sensible part of a settlement, but it would be odd as a court-ordered remedy."

Do you think the court should force the sex offender to purchase the couple’s home?  Should a plaintiff be allowed to impose tort liability on a registered sex offender for the diminished property values in their community?