A convicted sex offender's plan to open a business next to a toy store in downtown Battle Creek has hit a major stumbling block.
Reece Adkins' business partner, Cindy Dian, contacted the building owner, John Hennink, on Thursday and asked if the lease could be dissolved. Hennink said yes.
Adkins, who pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a person under 13 in May 2000, was planning to open Cereal City Food Auction, at 56 W. Michigan Ave., on Aug. 26.
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Hennink said Thursday that he also plans to dissolve a promissory note that Dian and Adkins signed for their space at 56 W. Michigan Ave.
"They're not going to be in the building at all," Hennink said. "They can maybe look somewhere else for a spot."
The Battle Creek Police Department warned Adkins this week to stay away from his business because it was within 1,000 feet of Battle Creek Central High School and St. Philip schools, which violated his conditions for release from prison.
Adkins was sentenced to four years, two months to 15 years in June 2000. He was released in 2010, returned to prison in 2012 on a technicality, and then was released for good in 2014. He would not elaborate on the technicality, saying the case was still in the courts.
Adkins said he and Dian plan to meet on Monday to discuss their plans. Dian could not be reached for comment.
Hennink said Dian is out of town, but is expected to sign the lease dissolution paperwork Monday.
"I know that we were looking at possibly a Plan B of relocating it," Adkins said. "There were several things that we were throwing around, but nothing has been decided."
The new business, Cereal City Food Auction, would have been located next to Hall of Toys.
"I'm glad my customers won't have to worry about feeling safe in the area and in the store, and I wish him luck in either opening in another location or whatever future endeavors he chooses," Hall of Toys owner Brett Hall said. "I hope he finds a better location for what he and his business partner want to do."
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