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The Internet has put tens of millions of pages of information at the fingertips of any person with access to a computer.
And local law enforcement officials want to make sure that residents know the names, faces and addresses of those who have been placed on Kentucky’s Sex Offender Registry’s Web site, http://kspsor.state.ky.us.
Maintained by the Kentucky State Police, “the intent of the site is to promote public safety and awareness by alerting possible victims of potential danger, not to punish or embarrass offenders,” according to the site’s homepage.
Brian Wright, the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Casey and Adair counties, said the site is also designed to keep the public informed about where convicted sex offenders live.
In addition, Wright said the site serves as a deterrent for those convicted of sex crimes against children and adults.
“The SOR is seen by some as a punishment — I’ve had people convicted who would rather take a felony than be put on the registry,” Wright said.
Casey County currently has 24 registered sex offenders on the site — 23 who are compliant, and one listed as non-compliant.
“A person who is compliant is one who’s doing what he’s supposed to be doing,” Wright said, referring to those requirements that a convicted sex offender must follow.
A non-compliant registrant, Wright said, is one who has not properly followed the requirements placed upon him by the law.
Wright said that there are three categories of offenders on the SOR — 10 year, 20 year and lifetime.
According to the KSP Web site, someone on the SOR designated as a “lifetime” registrant is one who is convicted, released, or registered after April 11, 2000 for the crimes of:
—Rape 1st degree.
—Sodomy 1st degree.
—Kidnapping or unlawful confinement of a minor (except by a parent).
—Those convicted of a sex crime who have prior convictions of specified offenses.
—Those convicted of two or more felony criminal offenses against victims who are minors.
—All offenders moving into Kentucky and registering from another state or anyone designated as a Sexually Violent Predator in another jurisdiction.
All other registrants must register either for 10 or 20 years, based upon the crime for which they were convicted.
Once on the registry, certain restrictions and requirements apply and if these are violated, then criminal penalties will apply, Wright said.
All sex offender registrants must verify their address with their local probation and parole office — lifetime registrants every 90 days while 10- and 20-year offenders are required to verify their address annually. The offender receives an address verification form which must be signed and returned within 10 days, Wright said.
If an offender fails to respond to the address verification form, they are said to be non-compliant and local authorities are notified.
KRS 17.510 states that registrants are required to return to the local probation and parole office every two years to furnish a new photograph for the SOR.
Additionally, the statute states that if a registrant moves to another address, he must notify the local probation and parole office before the move.
When a registrant moves into Kentucky from another state, he is required to register with the Department of Probation and Parole.
Wright said that being on the SOR carries other restrictions in addition to verifying an address.
“Someone on the SOR cannot live within 1,000 feet of a high school, middle school, elementary school, preschool, publicly owned playground, or licensed day care facility,” Wright said.
Also, KRS 17.546 states that a registrant who has access to a computer cannot enter into a chat-room, instant messaging site or a social networking site such as Facebook, especially if children under the age of 18 have access to that site.
Wright said that it’s important for the public to be well informed when it comes to who is on the SOR.
“We want people to make more use of it, especially when you want to hire someone or someone volunteers at church or the local park where kids play,” Wright said. “Ninety percent of people don’t check out volunteers — they just don’t think of it.”
For someone who doesn’t have access to a computer, computers are available free to the public at the Casey County Public Library.
For more information on the SOR, call KSP at 1-866-564-5652.