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Battle Brewing Over State’s Sex Offender Registry Law

December 25, 2009

Maine Public Broadcasting Network : Battle Brewing Over State’s Sex Offender Registry Law.

A major battle is brewing in Maine over implementation of the nation’s so-called Adam Walsh Act. In 2010, Maine is supposed to comply with the federal law, which is aimed at creating similar sex offender policies — and public Websites — in all 50 states. One key lawmaker says legislators are likely to balk at some requirements of the federal Adam Walsh Act, which the state is supposed to comply with in 2010.

The co-chair of the Legislature’s Criminal Justice Committee says the issue of how to handle convicted sex offenders has been debated by the panel for years. Sen. Stan Gerzofsky, a Brunswick Democrat, says Maine lawmakers have already revised the state’s sex offender registry law, but he says he doubts that the changes will meet federal requirements.

Gerzofsky says the federal law requires states to have a publicly-accessible registry that includes teenage offenders, and he doubts that Maine lawmakers will go that far. He says there is broad support to make sure true pedophiles are on a publicly-accessible registry, but he says concerns remain about including everyone who has ever committed a sex crime.

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