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What Is A Sex Offender? What You Need To Know

By on 2021-05-18 10:06:13, 0 Comments

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A sex offender, also referred to as a sexual abuser, is an individual convicted of any sexual offense/crime. 

In this digital age, sexual predators are no longer just lurking within your neighborhood, in public parks, or within the vicinity of schools. They have leveled up and entered the digital world.  It’s quite a disturbing reality that your child could fall victim to a sexual assault even if they seem to be physically protected at home. 

This is why you must be privy to who your kids are engaging with online. It also helps to broaden learn more regarding sex offenses and familiarize yourself with how to utilize sex offender search engines.

 

Sex Offenses and Sex Offender Registries

In the United States, several federal and state laws are in place to monitor and track sex offenders. These are also meant to protect children and adults alike from sexual exploitation in both the real and digital world. Some of these laws are the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children, the Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act, and the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act.

  • Sex Offenses

Sex offenses are crimes involving intentional sex-related exploitation or molestation. While what constitutes to be a sex crime can vary per country or state, here are some of the commonly considered sex offenses. 

    • Rape
    • Sexual Misconduct
    • Verbal Sex Abuse
    • Child Molestation
    • Child Grooming
    • Incest
    • Sexual Violation of Human Remains
    • Sex, Urination, or Nudity in Public Places

 

  • Sex Offender Registration

The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) mandates and regulates the registration of sex offenders and the notification to the public and access to any sex offender registry. 

Anyone convicted of any sex offense is required to disclose or update their personal information. Failure to register and update is considered to be a Federal offense. If the unregistered sex offender is convicted of any new Federal crime, the sentence could be extended for up to 30 years.

The sex offender’s duty to register and update their records vary depending on the original offense. 

    • Class A Felony – Register and update for their lifetime unless there’s an approved petition of the superior court.
    • Class B Felony – Register and update for 15 years from the date of confinement release or judgment entry.
    • Class C Felony – Register and update for 10 years from the date of confinement release or judgment entry.
    • Petition of Court – Any sex offender who has to register may file a petition to the Supreme Court. When approved, the person is instantly relieved of that duty.

 

  • Sex Offender Risk Levels

Convicted sex offenders are also classified depending on their risk level of re-committing such crimes. These risk levels would also determine the extent of public disclosure.

    • Level 1 – Least likely to re-offend. 

Many level 1 sex offenders are first-time offenders and they haven’t exhibited predatory-type characteristics. Their records are shared with other law enforcement agencies. While their records could be shared (upon request) to victims, witnesses, or residents within the community where the offender resides, level 1 offenders may not be the subject of general public notification.

    • Level 2 – Likely to re-offend.

These are individuals who are likely to re-offend depending on their current lifestyle which could involve alcohol, drugs, or other addictive vices. These offenders have taken advantage of position, trust, and authority. While level 2 offenders may not also be the subject of general public notification, their records must be published on the Offender Watch website.

    • Level 3 – Most likely to re-offend.

These are sex offenders with several sexual offenses and other criminal convictions. They’ve most likely used violence in their sex crimes and target random or unknown victims. Level 3 sex offenders may be disclosed to the public at large and must be listed on the Offender Watch website. In some jurisdictions, notification flyers might be sent out, community notification meetings could be held, or newspapers could be printed.

 

  • Sex Offender Restrictions

Sex offenders are constitutionally free to live anywhere they want unless there are court-order restrictions. If court orders exist or the offenders are under the supervision of the Department of Corrections/Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration, there are certain restrictions and limitations, including a curfew, not drinking alcohol and taking drugs, not being around children, or not being able to reside wherever they want to.

 

How To Run Sex Offender Search

Trusted and reliable sex offender registries could help in various situations, like:

  • When hiring a babysitter, nanny, or caretaker.
  • When moving into a new neighborhood.
  • When someone’s moving into your neighborhood.
  • When dating someone you met online or didn’t initially know personally.

To ensure you only get accurate, updated, and complete reports, here are some ways to initiate a sex offender search.

1. National Sex Offender Registry

You may access the National Sex Offender Registry for an updated list of sex offenders within your community or send a written request to acquire detailed information about a sex offender. 

2. Local Police/Law Enforcement Agency

Most states manage their own sex offender registry websites that is accessible by anyone. You can also coordinate with your local police who could surely assist in acquiring such details. 

3. Third-Party Sex Offender Search Engines

Various third-party search engines allow users to acquire information utilizing a person’s name, phone number, or address. The search typically takes a few minutes, making your hunt more convenient. Reports you can acquire could include personally identifiable information (PII), physical descriptions or identifying marks, education and/or employment background, and criminal records – from traffic violations to sex offenses.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Sex Offenders

What makes you a sex offender?

An individual is considered to be a sex offender if they’re convicted of any sex crime such as but not limited to rape, sexual misconduct, verbal sex abuse, child molestation, child grooming, incest, sexual violation of human remains, and sex, urination, or nudity in public places.

Can a sex offender live a normal life?

Committing any sex crime - or any crime - could certainly change one’s life. If you’re a sex offender, you’ll be required to register and update your information in registries that are accessible by the general public. You’d also be prone to humiliation, discrimination, and ostracization. All these could adversely affect your life.

What rights do sex offenders lose?

Even when a sex offender has successfully completed the court-ordered sentence and penalties, they could be deprived of certain human rights, depending on the gravity of the offense. Sex offenders could lose their rights to privacy, family and home, freedom of movement and liberty, work and reside where one chooses, and physical safety and integrity.

What careers can a sex offender have?

Depending on court-order restrictions, a sex offender might not be allowed to certain jobs or careers like anything that would require them to directly deal with children, women, or any consumer for that matter. In some jurisdictions, sex offenders may be able to get a job in construction, truck driving, animal shelters, and online/freelance.

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