A pedophile who shopped for marriage candidates based on whether they had children he could abuse has been denied a parole date and was ordered to appear before the board again in September 1990.

Merle Dean Sheffield, 51, is serving a 1-to-15-year sentence for forcible sexual abuse in connection with assaults on a stepchild.According to testimony presented at a Board of Pardons hearing, Sheffield married three different women, all of whom had children from a previous marriage. He sexually abused children in all three marriages.

"I don't go out looking for children. I don't go to ballparks and schools," Sheffield told the board. "I felt safe with children in my own family."

"The reports say you are treatable, and quite frankly I was surprised at that," said board member Gary Webster.