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Judge Hears First Sex Offender Challenge

July 5, 2009 Comments off

Salem News – Ohio : Judge hears first sex offender to offer challenge.

Lisbon, OH – The first sex offender to challenge new classification requirements last year finally had his case heard by a judge, who said he should be designated Tier I, the level with the least requirements.

Brendan McClaskey, who lived in the Salem when he filed his case, received notification from the state in December 2007 that he was being reclassified as a sexual oriented offender and that his reporting requirements were being extended beyond the time of his original classification. According to the document, he was convicted of corruption of a minor and attempt to corrupt a minor in Erie County, Ohio. The notification from the Ohio Attorney General said the offense under the law was unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

In a recent entry filed by Judge David Tobin of Columbiana County Common Pleas Court, he found the McClaskey didn’t actually get served with a letter from the state designating his Tier level, but he felt he should be designated Tier I, which means he has to register once a year for 15 years.

If he wants to contest that, Tobin said he could do than in the county of his residence.

In another case, Tobin ruled that the new registration requirement didn’t apply to Randall Culler Jr., 29, of East Palestine, in the manner specified by the state. He was reclassified by the Ohio Attorney General as a Tier III sexual offender, meaning he would have to register his address every 90 days for the rest of his life and the community would have to be notified.

Tobin disagreed and said he should have been designated Tier I considering the facts of his case. He was convicted of sexual battery involving an adult female victim.

Besides Tier I and Tier III, there is the classification of Tier II, which requires an offender to register twice a year, every 180 days, for 25 years, with no community notification required.

IN Supreme Court Nixes Retroactive Law

July 5, 2009 Comments off

jconline.com : Indiana court limits sex offender residency law.

Indianapolis – Convicted sex offenders who lived near schools or other places frequented by children before a state law restricting their residency was enacted in 2006 would not have to move under a ruling by the Indiana Supreme Court.

The court ruled this week that the residency law violated the Indiana constitution by retroactively punishing Anthony W. Pollard, a Blackford County sex offender who died in December.

Pollard had owned his home in northeastern Indiana for about 10 years when he was convicted of a sex offense against a child in 1997. He was then charged in January 2007 with violating the 2006 law that prohibits convicted sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school, public park or youth program center.

The state Supreme Court decision said the residency law prevents a sex offender from living in his home even if he bought it before the law took effect and even if a school or youth center moved within 1,000 feet of a home where he already lived.

“Although the statute does not affect ownership of property, it does affect one’s freedom to live on one’s own property,” Justice Robert Rucker wrote. “A sex offender is subject to constant eviction because there is no way for him or her to find a permanent home in that there are no guarantees a school or youth program center will not open within 1,000 feet of any given location.”

Bryan Corbin, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office, which handled the appeal, said a staff attorney interpreted the ruling to apply only to offenders who were charged, convicted and sentenced before the residency law was enacted.

The decision was the latest by the state Supreme Court to find that certain laws regarding state oversight of sex offenders violate the Indiana constitution’s ban on laws punishing people for acts that were legal when they were committed.

In April, the court overturned a man’s conviction for not registering as a sex offender because he had already completed a sentence for child molestation before the state’s Sex Offender Registration Act was passed.

Read decision here.