Some sex offenders would no longer have to be on a public registry under a bill that in the Missouri House.
The sponsor of the bill, Rodney Schad, R-Versailles, said that only about 5 percent of sexual offenders ever reoffend, and that many of the offenders are guilty of simply being, “young, dumb and stupid.” He said people found guilty of offenses like public urination have been put into the same shunned category as pedophiles and child rapists.
” One tweak to the law might help offenders struggling to find work, Schad said.
The proposal would remove the offender’s work or school address, and a physical description of the offender’s vehicles.
“Most sex offenses are committed by relatives, friends, people who know the victim,” he said.
“The best source of protections are the concerned adults in the kid’s life.” The current bill also has evolved.
“Over the years, things keep getting added and added, and it’s out of control,” said St.
Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert Mc Culloch, president of the Missouri Association of Prosecuting attorneys.
“What sex offender who can’t find a job is going to be able to pay the legal fees to get off the registry?Julie Lawson, executive director of the Crime Victim Advocacy Center of St.Louis, said it may surprise some people, but she supports the changes.The changes also would allow more offenders to petition to get off the registry after 10 or 20 years from the registration date, depending on the offense.The proposed changes would broaden the pool of those who can ask for removal.“So when we get on the website, we look and we see all these offenders living around us.It has desensitized us to who the true dangers of society are,” he said.“We want to go back to the original intent of this bill.” House Bill 1700 would remove some offenders from the registry, such as those guilty of promoting obscenity, second- and third-degree sexual misconduct, such as exposing oneself, or furnishing pornographic materials to minors.The bill received near unanimous and overwhelmingly bipartisan support in the Republican-controlled House and now advances to the Senate.The offense involved a 17-year-old girl he met through a dating service.“Once you’re on it, it affects everything you do,” he said.