SHAWNEE — A woman who planned to open a treatment center for sex offenders said she's decided not to open shop after receiving a death threat.
Holly Chandler has been under fire since residents around 1401 Highland discovered she was remodeling a former mechanics shop at that address into a counseling center for sex offenders.
She told The Oklahoman two weeks ago she planned to sell the building, but would use it until it sold. She has since changed her mind.
"I got an anonymous threat on my cell phone from a man who said if I stepped in that building, the building would burn with me in it," Chandler said. "I don't need to get hit in the head with a brick to realize the danger."
The building has been a target for vandals. Chandler said it's been shot at, windows have been broken and obscenities have been spray painted on its exterior.
Chandler said her clients are afraid to attend classes there.
"I never meant to cause a panic, but that's what this whole thing has turned into," Chandler said.
"My mission has always been to treat sex offenders as a means of keeping a community safe," she said.
Chandler said there are 99 registered sex offenders in Shawnee and 15 live in the neighborhood where complaints about her business have surfaced.
She said she is now looking to purchase a secluded piece of property outside city limits.
Chandler said the treatment sessions are for fewer that a dozen low-level sex offenders and last for one hour, once a week. She said she's been having the classes for about 10 years at various locations in Shawnee with no complaints. She has classes in 23 counties.