- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 24, 2001

D.C. police investigators must sort through backgrounds and case details before interviewing registered sex offenders about their whereabouts nearly three months ago when intern Chandra Levy disappeared, Executive Assistant Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer said yesterday.
Police have yet to talk to the sex offenders who work or live near areas Miss Levy has frequented, even though their information is available to the public on the Metropolitan Police Department's Web site ( www.mpdc.org ).
"Rather than just go to any person on the [Web] site, we want to get some sense of the person before we visit them," Chief Gainer said. "It's been a work in progress for them. That's why people haven't been contacted yet."
The interviews "may start as soon as this week," he said.
The Washington Times first reported Saturday that more than 20 sex offenders work or live near Miss Levy's Dupont Circle apartment or the Adams Morgan apartment of Rep. Gary A. Condit, who law enforcement sources say has admitted to having an affair with Miss Levy.
Several sex offenders in the area told The Times they had not been interviewed by detectives.
Chief Gainer said detectives must prioritize the pool of offenders by their crimes and other information before tracking them down. For example, he said, a child pornographer or statutory rape convict would not be considered as high a priority for interviews as a man with a history of raping strangers.
Miss Levy, 24, had abruptly ended an internship at the Federal Bureau of Prisons and was expected back in California for a graduation ceremony in early May when she vanished.
Meanwhile, D.C. police officials reiterated their desire to interview Mr. Condit a fourth time but stopped short of issuing a direct challenge that he make himself available to investigators.
Police cannot compel an interview because Mr. Condit, 53, has not been charged with anything. The California Democrat, whose district includes Miss Levy's hometown of Modesto, is not considered a suspect in her disappearance.
Chief Ramsey said investigators have no "concrete plans" for a meeting, and detectives are handling the details and logistics.
Among the details being discussed are whether Mr. Condit's attorney, Abbe Lowell, will be present and whether Mr. Condit will submit to an FBI-administered lie-detector test, Chief Gainer said.
Mr. Condit and his team employed a media blackout in recent days and did not return calls yesterday.
Authorities also wanted to question Mr. Condit about a watch box he discarded in Alexandria hours before forensic specialists searched his apartment on July 10, a law enforcement source said.
But one official warned that the incident has little bearing on the missing persons case or the federal obstruction of justice probe of Mr. Condit, which focuses on whether he has suborned perjury or tampered with witnesses.
Police traced the watch box to a woman who said she gave it to Mr. Condit as a gift between lovers, sources said.
Detectives are pursuing other angles in the case. They plan to send letters asking for the cooperation of some residents of Miss Levy's building at 1260 21st St. NW who have refused to talk to police.
Police want to obtain more information about Miss Levy's "medical condition," Chief Gainer said, as part of an overall profile and to determine whether she was pregnant, as many reports have speculated.
"We have no indication she was pregnant," he said. "Her mom and dad and friends have all said she wasn't."
Police officers and cadets yesterday searched wooded areas of the city in Northwest and Southeast. In the three weeks since they began, nothing helpful turned up, but Chief Gainer said the searches would continue for several more weeks.
m Jim Keary contributed to this article.

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