Ohio Gets More Draconian, Must Disclose Email Address


Tier 3 offenses include:


•Sexual battery

•Aggravated murder with sexual motivation

•Murder with sexual motivation

•Unlawful death or termination of pregnancy as a result of committing or attempt to commit a felony with sexual motivation

•Kidnapping of minor, not by parent

•New section of Gross Sexual Imposition

•Felonious assault with sexual motivation

•Pre-AWA predators unless reclassified after hearing under ORC

•Any sexual offense that occurs after the offender is classified as Tier 2 or 3

•Automatic classification after SVP specification

•Includes an attempt, complicity or conspiracy to commit any of these offenses.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2008, Ohio's sex offender law will be changed to comply with the federal Adam Walsh Act.

"Where we used to have sexually oriented offenders and sexual predators, they are now going into three groups. These tiers will be based on what they are convicted or found guilty of," Preble County Sheriff Mike Simpson said.

Tier 3, which is the most serious offenders, are required to check in every 90 days for the rest of their life.

Tier 2 offenders must check in every 180 days for 25 years.

Tier 1 offenders are required to check in once per year.

"Tier 3 is the one subject to area notification. We have to notify everybody within 1,000 feet of where they are living," Simpson said.

According to Simpson, there are a total of 54 sex offenders in Preble County and beginning the first of the year, 22 people in the county will be classified in the most serious category. That number is up 12 from the old law.

"We've got some people based on what they are convicted of that are going from oriented offenders with no community notification and were probably going to drop off (the list) in 10 years, to Tier 3, every 90 days for life," Simpson said.

Simpson said there are going to be 21 people in the Tier 2 category and 11 who fall into Tier 1.

According to Simpson, what used to take his office about 40 mintues to register a sex offended will now take closer to an hour.

"It will definitely increase our workload a little bit," Simpson said. "But, if all these offenders register like they're supposed to, it will increase our ability to keep track of them. It's going to create (workload) more so if they don't, because you don't know where that sex offender is, which isn't good."

And, if the offender works in another county, that individual will have to register in that county as well, according to Simpson.

Simpson said the offender is required to give all his/her information to his office, which includes physical description, tattoos, birthmarks, vehicles, address, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, if they volunteer anywhere.

"If they have an e-mail address, a MySpace account, anything they are supposed to tell us," Simpson said. "Because, if they fail to tell us, that's considered failure to register because they left out information."

Simpson said all the sex offenders received letters from the Attorney General's office notifying them of the change in the law and what their new classification will be beginning Jan. 1.

"If they live in Preble (County) and also work in Montgomery, they also have to register there to let that sheriff know they are working in that county," Simpson said."They have an obligation and a duty to notify the sheriff where they work."

According to Simpson, each of the offenders who have had his/her classification changed will have the right to challenge the new classification.

"They had 60 days after they received this letter to file a petition in Common Pleas Court in the county where they reside," Simpson said. "It's a civil action, meaning they are not entitled to an attorney. They have to hire their own attorney, they have to pay the fee to file the petition in the clerk's office. And if they don't file within that 60-day period, they waive their right to contest."

Simpson noted Ohio is one of the few states in the county to adopt this new law.

"Ohio's on the front end of it. Really, Ohio's system of eSORN, the e-mail notification, we are way ahead of the game in Ohio as opposed to other states," Simpson said.

Simpson said he encourages people to vist his website and register for an e-mail. The site address is preblecountysheriff.org.

"If a sex offender moves within a mile of your house, you are going to get an automatic notification," he said.

Simpson said people can register multiple addresses, such as other relatives' homes or child day cares, for example.

Facts about the Adam Walsh Act

•The Adam Walsh Act was signed into law on July 27, 2006. At the time of passage, at least 100,000 of more than a half million sex offenders in the United States and the District of Columbia were "missing" and unregistered.

•The act was signed on the 25th anniversary of the abduction of Adam Walsh from a shopping mall in Florida. Walsh was found murdered 16 days after his abduction and the perpetrator of the crime has yet to be found.

•Expands the National Sex Offender Registry.

•Strengthens Federal Penalties for Crimes Against Children.

•Makes it harder for sex predators to reach children on the Internet.

About eSORN

According to Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann, eSORN is one of the most important programs in the Attorney General's office. The database is connected to all 88 counties in Ohio.

The eSORN is a state-of-the-art electronic sex offender registration and notification website to help Ohioans protect their families and communities. This website marks the first time the public and law enforcement have electronic access to a list of all registered sex offenders in the state in one location.

Providing easy access to this website gives more information to the public and helps make our communities safer. The enhanced database provides a secure link for the exclusive use of law enforcement.

Users will find the name, address, type of offense and photo of each convicted sex offender the Attorney General's Office is permitted by law to include. The website is searchable by offender name, county, ZIP code and school district. It also provides links to county sheriffs offices' websites. By law, the eSORN public website may only contain information on offenders who have been convicted in adult criminal court.

State law requires county sheriffs to provide information for the eSORN database. Many, but not all county sheriffs, have a local convicted sex offender database. The website and enhanced database supplies a critical link between local and state databases to share information.

The Attorney General's Office furnishes technical assistance to sheriffs' offices interested in creating their own sex offender website.

In addition to the public website, there is secure access, for law enforcement agencies and prosecutors, to more detailed information on all convicted sex offenders, including victim preference, release date and fingerprints.

The Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation updates the database with relevant information pursuant to Ohio's SORN law. This section of the database is designed to increase communication among law enforcement agencies. A new mapping function is now operational, allowing both the public and law enforcement agencies to determine if sex offenders live within a certain radius of his or her residence.

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