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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Offender registry explained

Sunday, February 26, 2012

(Photo)
According to www.icrimewatch.net, Clay County has 56 registered sex offenders, including nine sexually violent predators, 18 sex offenders and 28 offenders against children.
When Zachary's Law was passed in 1994, a new era was ushered in.

According to the law, those who are convicted of a sex crime are required to register with local law enforcement in the county of which they live, work, volunteer, attend school or own property.

Zachary's Law was established in honor of Zachary Snider, a 10-year-old from Cloverdale, who was molested and murdered by a neighbor -- Christopher Stevens -- who had previously been convicted of child molesting.

Stevens was initially sentenced to death in the case. However, Stevens' death penalty sentence has since been modified to life in prison.

Currently, according to www.icrimewatch.net, Clay County has 56 registered offenders, including nine sexually violent predators, 18 sex offenders and 28 offenders against children. Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton added as of Friday, there were nine registered offenders locked up at the Clay County Justice Center, seven of which are registered and two dealing with pending charges.

"(The registered offenders) all could have been arrested for anything at this time," Heaton said. "But when they're in jail, most of the time, we put them in protective custody because of the nature of their defense, they are a target by other inmates."

Each offender must, according to law, meet with law enforcement each year to re-register.

They can come in before the year is up," Heaton said, "but if they come in after, that's a violation."

Heaton added those who must register have to pay an annual fee when doing so.

"Some of it goes to (the sheriff's department) and some goes to the state," Heaton said, adding the fee is $50 each year, with an additional $5 for an address change.

There are four types of offenders pertaining to the law. As well as the other three, the fourth offense includes violent offenders.

Each offender faces two registration periods, including 10 years or lifetime.

The registry includes the name of the offender, status, registration start date, registration end date, whether they received a 10-year registration or lifetime, physical descriptions, the offender's address, and offenses.

According to officials, some offenders -- such as sexually violent predators -- must register every 90 days. In addition, if a sexually violent predator moves to a different location, they have three days to notify law enforcement. In addition, offenders who move from county to county must re-register after the move.

"We don't take (offenders off the registry) until we're notified," Heaton said. "(The law) is pretty specific. If they fail to register after moving, they could face charges from both counties."

The Clay County Sheriff's Department has one dedicated officer who handles the sex offender's registry. Dep. Benny Boes deals meets with offenders on a constant basis. He has been handling this duty since 2007.

Not only do offenders meet with Boes, but he also regularly conducts checkups on them.

A packet of information on each offender is kept at the sheriff's department. Each offender also receives a packet of information provided by the state, which details what he or she can and cannot do.

"They can't use the defense, 'Well, I didn't know,'" Heaton said.

Heaton said it could be difficult for people on the register.

"They have that stigma," he said. "But it's just the same as a person who has been arrested for drugs."

When dealing with cases of a sexual nature, Heaton said it is difficult, not only for the victim, but for law enforcement.

"You have to show restraint," Heaton said. "It's sickening. It's disheartening. We do everything we can. We're always concerned about victims' safety. If (someone) violates, they're going to get arrested."

Comparisons

Clay County has a total of 56 registered sex offenders, all of which appear in today's newspaper, on pages 3, 8 and 9.

When comparing Clay County's Sex Offender Registry to other counties of like size, there is not much of a difference.

For example, Greene County also has 56 registered offenders, while Owen County has 43. Putnam County has 54 and Parke County has 34.

In contrast, however, Vigo County has 244 registered sex offenders.


Comments
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on thebraziltimes.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

Some registered sex offenders register every 90 days and their crime was not violent. Some of these offenders did not even have a "hands on victim".

Not only are the registered sex offenders targets by other inmates. They are also targets of society in general, including law enforcement.

I fail to comprehend that Clay County Sheriff Heaton can state that the sex offender "stigma" and a drug dealer are comparatively synonymous.

Sex offender legislation/laws are by far more restrictive and punishment is considerably more involved and severe then that of a drug dealer. The differences are by far day and night and do not compare.

When Sheriff Heaton states with regard to sex offenders that "You have to show restraint," and "It's sickening" and "It's disheartening." I question his deportment and his leadership.

Additionally, in dealing with a sexual offense, it is not only difficult for the victim and law enforcement. It is as difficult, if not more so, for the accused offender.

Many statutes begin with an offender "Knowingly" committed a crime. There is a reason for that wording. People do commit crimes they did not know were crimes. What about the person standing on a sidewalk drinking a beer or a person who trespasses by leaving an unmarked boundary from a state park into private property?

The law is not "pretty specific" when transferring from one county to another. Each county may handle the transfer differently. Unless an offender checks and double checks with both county sheriff's offices the offender could be arrested for failure to comply. It would also be prudent to check with the Missouri Highway Patrol Sex Offender Registry Department who will do their best to handle your inquiries.

-- Posted by smartymarty1111 on Mon, Feb 27, 2012, at 2:31 AM

Very helpful information. Thank you CCSD and Brazil Times !

-- Posted by Berniesmom on Mon, Feb 27, 2012, at 9:21 AM

I do feel that any young man of say 18 who has a girlfriend that is say 16 and they have consensual sex should not be treated the same as some pedophile etc... This goes on a lot but only a few get into trouble and then most people are not aware of the true circumstances of their "Crime".

-- Posted by indianamama on Mon, Feb 27, 2012, at 10:45 AM

Forgive me, MARTY, if I feel no sympathy for the "stigma" that comes with being CONVICTED (not merely accused) of molestation and pedophelia.

Their "rights" mean nothing to me, you see, as they gave up their rights when they CHOSE to molest a child. These sickos go so far as to threaten the children they molest - telling them they'll harm their parents, siblings and even the children themselves, should they "tell anyone". That right there shows they know right from wrong. If they don't like a taste of their own medicine (showing their photos, being ostracized in the community), BOO FRICKETY HOO!

I find "restrait" would be difficult for any law enforcement official who can only arrest these perverts and not beat the crap out of them (as being in the general population of prison warrants). It is "sickening" and repulsive the things they do to children. To think otherwise makes me question YOUR mental stability.

I do agree with MAMA though, and will add one thing - consentual or not, a 16yo should not be having sex with an 18yo in the first place. Of course, it happens - especially when sex (to many of them) = love.

I'm glad this list is maintained and presented to the general public. You can bet their faces are forever ingrained into my mind.

THANK YOU, SHERIFF HEATON and DEPUTY BOES for performing an often THANKLESS job! Please continue to put the safety of our children above the rights of these predators.

-- Posted by Emmes on Mon, Feb 27, 2012, at 11:44 AM

Are you serious Smartymarty? How can you say that it is more difficult for the sexual offender than the victim. Children who are violated are sentenced to a life sentence of emotional problems and memories that never go away. The offender gets a sentence and is remorseful only about getting caught. A good lawyer and "counseling" will get a shorter sentence and the offender is out in society again. Is there ongoing counseling available to the victims?? Just asking, as I don't know the answer. "Does the offender pay for the victims counseling", just asking. The offender chooses the victim and what he or she wants to do to them. What are the victims choices??? I understand the difference between consensual teens and pedophiles,my comments are mainly to the pedophiles. Children do not consent to have sex and are threatened if they tell. What kind of fear does the child live with when the abuser is out of jail? Should Sheriff Heaton be sickened by a pedophile? He would be less than a human being if he felt otherwise.

-- Posted by sew&sew on Mon, Feb 27, 2012, at 12:35 PM

what about those accused and they didnt do the crime but you the state or county make them plea out cause they dont have money to get attorney/? they are victims too but you dont tell their story do you?

-- Posted by jsstiltner on Mon, Feb 27, 2012, at 8:40 PM

Did you know that 95% of all first time offenders in prison are plea bargained? What does that say about our system of justice? So like 5% go to trial and probably if they have the money to pay for good council.

Did you know that the USA has more people locked up in prison than any other country in the world? What does that say about our court system?

Did you know that in the neighborhood of 90% of those who commit sexual offenses against minors are not the individual out and about? It is usually a close member of your family, your uncle or aunt who prey on your children? It is vital that parents always remain vigilant over their children for their safety and protection.

I feel that is important for everyone to consider their own values when they spew hatred and animosity towards others. Pedophilia is awful and disturbing. I certainly don't condone such behavior. Besides there are many issues of concern regarding behavior, judicial procedure, rights of individuals, ex post facto, interpretation of the law, law enforcement and so on. However, many sex offenders are offenders for some act committed against another adult and often not against a minor. Many sex offenses are not worthy of putting a juvenile in prison for way too many years and that for their lifetime they will suffer greatly for perhaps poor judgement or a borderline case. I do not agree with Emmes who seems to be a hateful individual without conscience, justice or positive motivation except for his/her unreasonable hostile attitude.

By the way, the offender is usually held responsible for attorney's fees, court costs, restitution including fines, psychiatric fees for the victim and for themselves.

As far as I know there isn't much out there for the offender who obviously needs his/her behavior assessed and treated.

Did you know that sex offenders have the least amount of recidivism rate than all other categories of crime?

-- Posted by smartymarty1111 on Mon, Feb 27, 2012, at 9:43 PM

smartymarty: I agree with your comments 100%. Don't be too upset with society that do not know what the laws are and those that can be labeled as sex offenders. The media and lawmakers have created such hysteria in our citizens. There are children in the state of Indiana, as young as 10 years old on the registry. Nationally, there are children as young as 6 for touching another child in a day care. Our laws and those who report them, have gotten out of control. In regards to the drug dealers getting as bad of a rap as those on the registry...I disagree! Drug dealers can have a life without constant fear of vigilantes. Registrants can't. Therapy and treatment centers are where we will find the answers to this problem. We need a safe atmosphere where people can seek help without repercussions. We also need to have those who have been "charged" with a crime evaluated prior to a trial, to see if they are at risk of re-offense. In the state of Indiana, per the Department of Correction's report March 2009, sex offense recidivism is at 1.05%. That is LOWER than any other crime. I personally believe that this is primarily due to what offenses Indiana is requiring offenders to register. "Crimes" such as underage teen dating, urinating in bushes while fishing, men/women "adjusting" themselves in public, parents taking pictures of their children in the bath tub, people sitting in their own homes in their underclothes, talking to someone who claims to be older on the internet, clicking a link to the wrong place on the internet, married couples "parking" at a secluded area with their spouse.... the list of offenses goes on and on. These "offenders" are no more harmful to our children than we are. In fact, statistics PROVE that 90-95% of child sexual abuse starts at home either by parents of close friends. The perpetrator is more than likely someone the "victim" knows.

Another problem with the over saturated registry is that the FBI recently reported that 45% of all rape crimes are falsely reported and that the rate may be higher, because false accusers have not come forward for fear of prosecution of perjury.

There are over 16,000 registrants on the Indiana registry. I believe that most of them are from "crimes" as I listed above, or false allegations. As the recidivism rate in Indiana shows these registrants are no threat to our citizens.

Wake up people, watch your children and know what they are doing and where they are at all times.

No the truth and educate yourselves before you make judgement. It could be your child, young teenager or spouse on the registry next!

www.reformsexoffenderlaws.org

-- Posted by RWsMom on Wed, Feb 29, 2012, at 1:32 PM

If your gonna mess with a little kid you should not be afforded any rights. If there is any question about your actions is it not common sense to find out if you can go to jail or not before you commit? People just need to use that thing between their ears and this community would be a lot safer for all, especially for those that are defenseless against predators. These "adults" need to have enough responsibility not to mess with someone under age anyway. They made their bed so they can lay in it.

-- Posted by Hoosierfan88 on Fri, Mar 2, 2012, at 11:06 AM

EITHER of you bother to LOOK at the photos presented? A MAJORITY of them are either an "Offender against Children" or "Sexually Violent Predator" - not "caught necking with his wife" or "neighbor saw him in his underwear adjusting himself".

I find it interesting that MOM seems to have a statistic for everything EXCEPT the number of offenders (of the 16,0000 you claim reside in Indiana) who fall into the category YOU INDICATE above (parents taking pictures of their children in underclothes, etc.). Typical.

Leave it to people who've KNOWN a child molester or sex offender to be the first to DEFEND (and down play) THE BEHAVIOR.

A "hateful individual without conscience"? Damn right. Especially when it comes to protecting my children from people like these - you know, the ones you (and MOM) make excuses for.

I am still amused at the mentality of people who defend these scum.

-- Posted by Emmes on Fri, Mar 2, 2012, at 12:07 PM

Please do not forget we have a Constitution and a bill of rights in our wonderful country to protect ALL of us. I think our kids come first!

-- Posted by Combat VET on Sun, Mar 4, 2012, at 10:03 PM

AMEN, VET!

-- Posted by Emmes on Thu, Mar 8, 2012, at 11:54 AM


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