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Missouri sex offender registry brings unwanted attention

Being on the Missouri sex offender registry is a serious impediment to living a normal life. Often, when a person subject to sex offender registration moves to a smaller community, not only are the person's new neighbors notified, but the relocation makes the local news.

This scenario has unfolded in a small town in another state. A local media outlet has reported that a man, who was convicted of a 1998 sex offense in Jefferson County, Missouri, recently moved to the area.

The man had apparently received a suspended sentence for the offense and was on probation. The news report provided the man's name, age and address. Reports also quoted a local law enforcement official as saying that use of the sex offender notification to harass or threaten the man would not be tolerated.

Still, it is likely that many of his new neighbors will shun or avoid him over an offense that happened 14 years ago. His status on the registry may also make it difficult to find a job, and he may find that his movement is severely restricted, even within this new community.

Local law enforcement may also find their duties affected by the man's presence on the registry. Officers and investigators may feel pressure from local residents and public officials to watch the man's every move, straining limited public resources to watch a person who may not be dangerous.

Due to changes in the law of sex offender registration, some people currently on the registry may be eligible for removal. Once removed from the registry, active community notification of one's sex offender status by law enforcement would cease, allowing these people to resume a semblance of normal life. Knowing that this may be a viable legal move, it may be important for those on the registry to see if their name can be removed in order to find housing and a housing to allow them to more actively contribute to their community.

Source: KHOZ Radio News, "New Sex Offender Now Residing in Gamaliel Area," Elizabeth Monte, Sept. 7, 2012

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