Archive for August, 2009

Guide to Ohio’s Sex Offender “SORN” Laws

August 30, 2009 Comments off

Letter from the Ohio Attorney General:

I have attached an updated version of the Guide to Ohio’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Laws (SORN). The original version of this guide was issued last year by my predecessor. The updated guide is substantially identical to the original guide, except with respect to juvenile offender registrants.

Since the original guide was issued, four appellate districts have ruled that a juvenile court has discretion to determine which tier it places juvenile offender registrants. While this is markedly different than the requirements for adult registrants, whose tier classification is determined solely based on the offense for which they are convicted, we believe that the recent appellate decisions correctly interpret the statute with respect to a juvenile court’s discretion. We have made this substantive change on page 26 of the guide, and have attempted to better clarify the differences between the requirements for adult and juvenile registrants on page 23.

I should point out that there are two cases pending before the Ohio Supreme Court which separately address the SORN law with respect to juvenile and adult registrants. We are closely monitoring these and other cases and will continue to evaluate the accuracy of the guide in light of future court decisions.

I hope that you find the guide to be of assistance to you. If the Attorney General’s Office can be of further assistance in applying the SORN laws, please feel free to contact Assistant Attorney General Justin Hykes at or 614.387.4257.

Richard Cordray
Ohio Attorney General
June, 2009
30 East Broad Street, 17th Fl ● Columbus, Ohio 43215 ● PHONE 614.466-4320 ● FAX 614.466-5087

View the Guide to Ohio’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Laws “SORN” ;
2009 Update Following Passage of the Adam Walsh Act

This guide is also posted in text form, its entirety at:

Sex Offender Registration Nightmare

August 30, 2009 Comments off

The following nightmare was sent to by a reader. This is what can happen to a registered ex sex offender who tries to relocated within the state of Ohio, while attempting to satisfy every legal requirement placed upon him.

“This has been a nightmare. My conviction was from Texas in 1995, but I moved back to Ohio after being released. I wasn’t required to register in Texas, but I was once I moved back to Ohio. All was okay until the Adam Walsh Act came about and I filed a petition against reclassification to no avail. Where the problem came in was when I moved from Auglaize County, Ohio to Holmes County, Ohio in June 2008.

As required, I notified Auglaize County on June 2, 2008 that my move was complete. That was when I was told I had to travel over 3 hours back to sign a paper before they could transfer me, but they would give me a couple weeks to do it since I was out of money due to the move. I found out that this was not correct ; the AG office said it was not proper procedure and they offered to do the transfer. Holmes County arrested me the same day. No warning letter, no phone call, or anything else. I had called them to gave my new address and contact info.

Auglaize County admitted at the trial that I was never out of compliance with them and that there was no way for me to appear in the new county until they transferred ownership of my eSORN file.

The AG office says it is wrong, and so does the Department of Justice SMART office, but nobody seems to do anything. Meanwhile I am facing 30 years for failure to change my address, when I was doing all I could to follow the orders given to me.

I need help big time. I have been labeled a monster, but my sex offense was against my spouse during a bitter divorce in Texas. Want to see a real messed up case look at it–my jury was the police officer investigating the case and the court administrator–how’s that for fair? The Judge said I would of had a better trial if I had fully paid my lawyer.”

If any of our readers has the ability to provide assistance to this man, please contact him at:

View documentation of his situation

Update Sept 3, 2009: This man was sentenced today to 3 years in prison with an additional 5 years Post-Release Control (probation)- a true travesty and injustice ! His appeal bond was granted, thankfully.

IN : Supreme Court’s Confusing Trail

August 30, 2009 Comments off (Richmond, IN) : Court’s trail confusing on sex offender rights.

The Indiana Supreme Court ruled this summer that an offender who owned his home before a new residential law restricting proximity to a school, public park or youth center could not be forced to move by the law.

The defendant was being charged with behavior after the implementation of the statute, not before.
“In other words,” we said, “he is not charged with owning a home, but continuing to reside in a home in violation of defined space limitations after the law was passed.”

Still there was consistency in the court’s position. The state’s high court only months before had struck down the conviction of a man for failing to register as a sex offender, noting in similar fashion that he had completed his sentence for child molestation before the state’s Sex Offender Registration Act was passed.

So it is that we find more confusion than consistency with the court’s most recent ruling this month letting stand without comment a Plainfield ordinance barring sex offenders from the town’s public parks.

This goes well beyond the narrower residency statute. It bans those who have served criminal sentences and who pay taxes in support of public parks from even setting foot in those parks. And even where their crimes were not committed in those parks.

The defendant in the Plainfield case had completed his sentence and probation when he was told by police while visiting the town’s recreation center with his young son that he could not return.

People who love the law for its fair play should have some issues with this kind of “Scarlet Letter” justice that continues to punish after the proverbial “debt to society” has been paid.

Now, supporters of these arguably overreaching restrictions will argue that it is the high rate of recidivism by sex offenders that targets them for ongoing restrictions to protect the larger society, especially innocent children.

The data on repeat offenses is more confusing than the Indiana Supreme Court’s recent rulings. One can cherry pick what they want to support a particular position. For example, a Justice Department study of 272,111 felons released from prison in 15 states during 1994 found sex offenders were less likely than non-sex offenders to be re-arrested for any offense, but that sex offenders were about four times more likely to be arrested for another sex crime after discharge from prison. (The study found that only 5.3 percent of sex offenders were rearrested for another sex crime)

But if the science convincingly supports the need to restrict the right to public property, or residency, or other basic rights for convicted sex offenders, then let that need be reflected in amended criminal codes that extend probationary periods upon conviction. That way, judges can rightfully impose those restrictions on a case-by-case basis within the broad parameters of probation. Those who violate specific terms of probation can be abruptly returned to prison, where they belong.

One thing that should be remembered here is that “sex offender” is itself a rather broad term, incorporating everything from the chronic perverts who prey on young children to, in some states, the 19-year-old youth caught and prosecuted for having consensual sex with his 15-year-old girlfriend.

Simply denying fundamental rights to a class of citizens even a class loosely defined by past criminal conduct — under the guise of protecting society probably renders us all a little less free and secure.

CNN : Show us the Recidivism Data

August 29, 2009 Comments off

CNN / Anderson Cooper AC360° : Recidivism rates for sex offenders.

All of this got us thinking – what are the recidivism rates for sex offenders? We found this report released a few years ago by the Department of Justice. It is a study based on convicted sex offenders who were released from prison in 1994.

Here are some of the findings from the study:

– Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. If all crimes are included, 43 percent of sex offenders were rearrested for various offenses.

Sex offenders were less likely than non-sex offenders to be rearrested for any offense –– 43 percent of sex offenders versus 68 percent of non-sex offenders. But sex offenders were about four times more likely than non-sex offenders to be arrested for another sex crime after their discharge from prison –– 5.3 percent of sex offenders versus 1.3 percent of non-sex offenders.

Click here for the full report.

Another Ex Sex Offender Murdered by Vigilantes

August 29, 2009 Comments off (Ohio) : Newark police investigate fatal stabbing (video);
Sex offender’s body found in rooming house.

Police are searching for clues in the stabbing death of a Newark man in a West Harrison Street rooming house late Monday night, two days after his 25th birthday.

In an upstairs bedroom, they discovered the body of John T. Stouffer, a resident of the home. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Stouffer was stabbed multiple times in the head, chest and back and died from internal bleeding, Licking County Coroner’s Office Investigator Mickey Lymon said. There was no indication of forced entry into Stouffer’s room, one of eight that shares common areas in the two-story home, such as a living room and kitchen, with the others, Snow said.

Stouffer was sentenced to five years of community control and classified as a Tier I sex offender, which has the least stringent registration requirements, in April 2008.

Ex Sex Offender Murdered in Own Home

August 26, 2009 Comments off

DetroitNews : Sex offender’s stabbing was an act of ‘vigilantism’.

Dennis Raymond McCarthy, 64, was murdered in his home by an intruder about 4 a.m. Sunday. An autopsy determined he died from multiple stab wounds suffered after he awoke to his wife screaming because someone had entered their home through an unlocked rear door.

The person responsible is identified as a stocky white man in his 20s, about five feet, eight inches tall, with brown hair and wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt. The man fled the house and his whereabouts are unknown.

Solving McCarthy’s slaying, and determining the motive for it, has fallen into the hands of Michigan State Police Detective Sgt. Gary Muir, a 31-year police veteran who has been involved in some of the area’s most grisly crimes.

Muir believes McCarthy’s death was not random violence by a frightened burglar, but rather that McCarthy was targeted possibly because of past criminal history. He was convicted in 2008 for second-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a 4-year-old family member and acquitted in 2004 of allegations he molested five girls, aged eight to 10 years old. He had been released from jail August 17 and was serving a nine-month probation at home with an electronic tether.

“There was no attempt to harm his wife, there were no items stolen from the home and the person responsible — once he was discovered — could have easily run out the back door but instead attacked him (McCarthy),” Muir said.

Anyone with information in the McCarthy killing is asked to contact state police at (248) 634-3512 or (313) 237-2450.

This murderer must be captured and sentenced to life in prison (1st degree murder). Justice is justice.. and justice is blind. Murder is and has always been in this country, a more severely punished crime than sex abuse, although you’d never know that from recent laws which banish and ostracize sex offenders in our communities, even after they have served their sentences.

The local authorities who posted this man’s sex offender registry information online should be prosecuted for criminal negligence and accessory to murder , in providing the murderer directions to his home via online registry

What is Forgivable?

August 25, 2009 Comments off (St. Louis) : Imperial church billboards ask, “What’s forgivable?”

Jefferson Hills Christian Church in Imperial is asking a series of serious questions on billboards along Interstate 55 south of St. Louis. Those billboards ask whether God or people should forgive a certain list of offenses, such as: sex offenders, suicide, cheating on your boyfriend, and little white lies.

“As Christians, we believe there is no unforgivable sin,” said Pastor Benke. “Jesus Christ is our perfect savior, and that means there’s not a single sin a person can’t turn to God with and find forgiveness.”

One driver, Keith Murphy, was asked if sex offenders and people who commit suicide are forgivable.
“It all depends on the situation and what happened, how it all went down,” he said.

Another commuter, Erica Downs, said three out of four of the sins in the new billboard campaign are forgivable. Which one is not? “The sex offenders,” she said. So what does Downs think about the campaign?

“I guess it’s a good one,” she said. “I guess that’s what the Bible says, that you’re supposed to forgive everyone, but I don’t think human nature really goes along with that all the time.”

Benke said it’s important people understand what’s contained in Christian scripture.

“And then, quite frankly, the church gets that message wrong, as well,” he said. “But the Bible teaches there is no sin that isn’t forgivable in Jesus.”

To see the billboards visit; for more information about Jefferson Hills Church, visit their website at

Schools to Report Kids’ Sex Concerns

August 24, 2009 Comments off

gastongazette (N.C.): Teachers asked to look for signs of child abuse as students return to school.

Enter Big Brother to the rescue to decide whether YOUR kids might have been sexually exposed in your home. We hope you understand what this means; if your child demonstrates any of the signs listed in this article, schools may report your family to local police!

Through its Children’s Advocacy Center, Hope Circle helps police and prosecutors conduct recorded interviews with child victims of physical and sexual abuse. The nonprofit group also offers counseling services for victims and non-offending family members through a partner group, Assault and Victimization Intervention and Deterrence.

Laurie McClure, director of Hope Circle, is asking teachers, administrators, counselors and coaches to offer help to children who show signs of potential abuse. Concerns should be reported to social workers or local police, she said.

In the majority of cases — 25 — the alleged offender was a relative other than the child’s parent. Eleven alleged offenders were parents, and one was a stepparent, according to data Hope Circle provided to the National Children’s Alliance. (Again, the evidence shows that most sex offenses occur within the family, not strangers in parks)

Del: Ban on Renting to Sex Offenders

August 23, 2009 Comments off (Delaware) : Laurel Landlords Face New Rules on Renting to Sex Offenders.

Laurel,Del.- Those who own rental property in Laurel may face some new rules when it comes to renting to sex offenders. The Laurel Town Council considered the first reading of a new ordinance this week that prohibits rental property owners from renting to sex offenders if the unit is located 1,000 feet from a school, youth center or day care.

The ordinance would prohibit renting to high-risk sex offenders.

It would also prohibit landlords from allowing more than one sex offender to reside in any one building, with some exceptions.

Landlords who rent to a sex offender must inform people who live within 500 feet of the rental unit.

The stupidity of these laws is astounding. Making life as difficult and unstable as possible for an ex sex offender will only increase the risk of re-offending. And this is not to mention the constitutional and moral questions which arise from such social banishment laws. On whichever basis, towns like Laurel will get what they deserve as a result.

WI Now Also Charging Sex Offenders $100

August 23, 2009 Comments off

From a reader in Wisconsin who informs us that sex offenders are being “raped” and charged $100 per year for the privilege of registering with the Wisconsin Department of Corrections so that they can be publicly shamed:

“They are charging us $100 a year, too. They started last year. We received a letter in June that I had to pay $100 and again in August that it was now an additional $100 for the next year. I did not pay it and they took it out of my state tax refund. I am tired of changing the rules. I went from an 15 year registry to a life sentence.”