In October, a Miami-Dade woman was abducted and gang-raped by five men. In July, Ronald Brown, a Largo area puppeteer who performed at birthday parties, schools and church functions for more than 20 years, was arrested for possession of child pornography and has since admitted to having a desire to kidnap, sexually abuse, murder and eat children.
The Sex Offender Registry was created to protect the public from these predators. However, overloading the Registry with other offenders has resulted in an ineffective system. Florida’s Registry current lists approximately 58,000 offenders of which sources indicate 35,000 are no longer living in Florida, 16,000 are in jail or institutionalized, and more than 2,000 are dead. Only a fraction of those remaining present a risk to the public.
Florida Statute Section 943.0435 includes a comprehensive list of crimes that will place an offender onto the registry – for life. Getting off the Florida Registry is available only to those who have been pardoned, have not been arrested for the last 25 years, or satisfy the requirements of the Romeo and Juliet Law (consensual intercourse, with one partner between 14 and 17 years old and the other no more than 4 years older than he or she).
The consequences of being listed on the Registry are severe, particularly in Florida:
- All your personal information, including name, photograph, residence, phone numbers and place of employment are listed online.
- Florida Law stipulates that a sex offender may not live within 2,500 feet of a school, park or any other place where children might gather. As a result, many on the Registry are unable to find housing.
- Many employers will refuse to have a sexual offender at their workplace, particularly if there are female employees.
- Most people believe that everyone on the Registry is a serial rapist and/or child molester, and a growing number of vigilantes use the online system to harass and even murder offenders.
Sadly, many accused people wind up on the Sex Offender Registry who do not belong on it. Also, there is an abundance of studies that indicate that “sex offenders” can be rehabilitated and thereby reducing or eliminating any potential danger to the community.
Florida’s Sex Offender Registry has some of the most oppressive requirements in the country, and it is imperative that you stay off it. If you have been charged with a sex crime, including false imprisonment and any sexual or non-sexual offense involving a minor, you need experienced and aggressive representation. Call our office today for a consultation.