State guards sex offender registry

COOS BAY — Currently, 446 registered sex offenders call Coos County their  home.

But finding out if one of them is your neighbor or co-worker isn’t easy.

Names, photos and addresses of most sex offenders in Coos County are not  available online. Instead, they are protected by the state sex offenders  registry office and released only upon approval.

In fact, at its website at sexoffenders.oregon.gov, the State of  Oregon Sex Offender Inquiry System publishes the names of just five percent of  listed sex offenders. That five percent is made up of only some people  classified as “predatory” or recommended by their supervising officer.

That means they exhibit characteristics showing a tendency to victimize or  injure others, and are considered at a high risk to offend again.

According to the Coos County Community Corrections, 27 of our county’s 446  sex offenders are deemed “predatory.” But just 14 are listed on the state’s  website. They’re also listed on the Web page of Coos County Community  Corrections.

To learn the name of any other Oregon registered sex offender, a person must  ask Vi Beaty, who manages the Oregon State Police’s sex offender registry. Beaty  fields requests for names, addresses and photos of sex offenders.

Beaty releases the information only if the person requesting it provides a  valid public safety concern.

“Just because you live in a neighborhood with children is not a good reason,” Beaty said. But, for example, parents can request the list of sex offenders in  their neighborhood, or a library can request the list in its service area, to  keep offenders out of the children’s section.

Instead of answering an inquiry about a particular person, Beaty gives the  inquirer the whole list for their area.

Only sex offenders who are off supervision or those who have been deemed  predatory are on the list. And not everyone who’s off supervision is on the  registry’s list, although they are required, in some cases, to register with the  Oregon State Police. Their names then go into a law enforcement encrypted  system, meaning only law enforcement can see their names and past crimes.

“We don’t have a perfect world,” Beaty said. “We are understaffed. Some law  enforcement don’t have resources to keep up with them.”

People who are deemed predatory must be convicted of rape, sodomy, unlawful  sexual penetration or sex abuse in any degree. Offenders can be deemed predatory  by a parole board, parole officer or the registry office.

Coos County Community Corrections parole and probation officer Mike Crim said  when he is considering whether to designate an offender as predatory, he looks  at the age of the offender, the sexual violence involved in the crime, prior sex  offenses, prior sentencing dates, convictions for non-contact sex crimes,  victims not related to the offender and male victims.

“We have more than our share of sex offenders compared to other counties  around the state,” Crim said.

Once an offender is designated predatory, it’s up to the supervising officer  to determine whether or not that label should become public knowledge. If the  supervising officer decides to notify the public of the predatory status, the  offender’s picture, address, crimes and other information is posted by the  registry office. Offenders’ information can be posted to the Web only if they  are under supervision, unless the supervising officer discharges them at a high  level, meaning they’re still at a high risk to re-offend.

“If they are discharged at a low or medium level, we don’t have the authority  to post anything about them,” Beaty said.

Reporter Tyler Richardson can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 236, or at trichardson@theworldlink.com

 
 Saturday,  April 7, 2012 7:00 am     Updated: 10:58  pm.

Our Source:   http://theworldlink.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/state-guards-sex-offender-registry/article_ed2ef74a-8070-11e1-9fb0-001a4bcf887a.html#ixzz1rVs3h5ju

Advertisements