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Missouri sex offender arrested for failure to register

A New London, Missouri, man who was convicted of a sex crime 29 years ago has been arrested and charged with failing to register as a sex offender.

Police say that the man violated Missouri Sex Offender Registration laws by failing to provide a correct address of residence to authorities. The arrest was made after the U.S. Marshals Service partnered with a local sheriff's office to investigate the case.

Records indicate that the man was convicted of sodomizing a 15-year-old boy in 1983. Failure to register as a sex offender is a class D felony in Missouri, punishable by up to four years in prison.

Being listed on the sex offender registry severely impacts the lives of individuals with these kinds of convictions on their records. Often, such people have trouble finding a job or getting custody of their children and they may face discrimination from their neighbors and co-workers.

Unfortunately, many people who thought that they had put long-ago sex crime convictions behind them find that they must still register. Law enforcement authorities, for their part, find themselves dealing with a dauntingly long list of registered sex offenders, many of whom are not dangerous and are a low risk to re-offend.

A bill that may change this situation is currently being considered by the Missouri General Assembly. The bill would remove low-risk offenders, such as those convicted of public urination, self-exposing, and furnishing pornographic materials to minors, from the sex offender registry.

Even though this bill has yet to be enacted, people on the Missouri sex offender registry may still be eligible to have their names removed from it, depending on the circumstances.

Source: Quincy Herald-Whig, "New London sex offender nabbed by U.S. Marshals, charged with failure to register," April 11, 2012

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